Make These Efforts To Talk To Someone Who Is Clearly Struggling To Hear

Michelle Hopkins

When you have a family member who is showing signs of hearing loss, it's not necessarily your job to suggest that he or she should get hearing aids. However, you can make the person's life easier by changing how you approach conversing with him or her. When someone is struggling to hear, crowded rooms and even one-on-one conversations can be a nightmare, and the person can feel highly embarrassed because of having to repeatedly ask others for clarification. If you can tell someone is having trouble hearing, here are some efforts that you can take to improve the situation.

Suggest A Change In Venue

If you're in a crowded area, whether it's a home or a public space such as a restaurant, the person with hearing difficulties may have an extremely tough time hearing you. Instead of continuing to try to be heard over the din, simply suggest a change in venue. At a gathering in a home, move to an emptier room; in a restaurant, suggest stepping outside for a minute for some "fresh air." You don't have to approach doing so from the angle of you helping the person because of his or her hearing challenges. Instead, be supportive by saying that you'd like to avoid the noise. For example, you could say, "I can barely hear myself think in here. Let's step out to the patio for a minute."

Position Yourself Properly

Whether you're in a quiet area or a noisy one, the person who is experiencing hearing difficulties will have a better chance of hearing you if you position yourself so that you're close to his or her ears. Try to sit or stand next to the person instead of talking from halfway across the room, and try to imagine an invisible line between your mouth and either of the person's ears. Reposition yourself, as necessary, to maintain this invisible line throughout the conversation.

Speak With As Much Clarity As Possible

Those who have hearing challenges will appreciate if you use clear pronunciation when you speak. Try to properly enunciate each word, rather than letting words run together. Don't mutter certain words, as they'll be extremely difficult for the person to pick up. If you're eating or drinking, wait until your mouth is empty before you begin to speak. Finally, make sure there isn't anything obstructing your mouth; for example, don't hold your hand against your mouth or even over it while you speak.

If you have a family member who is clearly struggling to hear, it may be good to suggest talking with a doctor about looking into hearing aid options, such as Widex hearing aids. So keep this in mind as you try to help your loved one hear.