Improving Communication with Your Family

Improving Communication with Your Family

If someone in your family struggles to hear, you’ve probably all experienced the frustration of trying to communicate. Maybe you feel ignored, your loved one feels isolated, and your family dynamic isn’t what it used to be. 

If you want to solve your communication problems, here are a few tips for the whole family on how to help your loved one hear.

Empathize

When communicating with someone with hearing loss, it’s easy to take things personally. Your loved one may come across as rude when they don’t hear you from across the room or answer inappropriately. 

Take a deep breath, and don’t get angry – remember that it is not their fault they feel frustrated. Hearing loss interferes with the ability to recognize speech. 

Stay in the room and be present.

If your loved one struggles to hear, shouting at them from another room won’t help. To facilitate smoother communication, get closer to your loved one. 

Pull up a chair, sit down, and make sure you have their attention before you start talking. It takes two people to communicate, so make sure you’re both ready before you start. 

If you’re in a noisy place, like a restaurant or at a crowded concert, stay close to your loved one, and try to position yourself so they can see your face. By following body language or facial cues, your loved one can better understand what’s been said and participate in the conversation. 

Reduce the background noise

With hearing loss, people experience difficulty focusing on speech sounds against background noise.

If you’re at home, take a second to turn off the TV, turn down the radio, or close the window. Getting rid of all the background noises will help your loved one hear more efficiently and ensure everyone can communicate clearly.  

Speak more clearly, not necessarily louder

We often make a common mistake of assuming that louder is always better. But that’s not the case. Shouting can make it harder to understand you since yelling distorts speech sounds and makes it challenging to figure out what’s being said. If you want your loved one to understand you and follow conversations easily, the best thing you can do is speak clearly.

Slower speech doesn’t necessarily help, either. Like yelling, speaking too slowly can change the sounds and make it difficult to understand. Instead, speak at an average volume and speed, add pauses at the end of sentences, and leave a few longer breaks. This will allow your loved one time to process what’s been said, keep up with what you’re saying, and respond.

Use more words 

For someone struggling to hear, using a few more words can make all the difference between understanding what’s been said and getting confused. Stay away from one-word answers like “yes” or “no” and say things like “Yes, I remember” or “No, I didn’t.” It doesn’t take extra time to add in a word or two, but it can save everyone a lot of confusion and facilitate more straightforward communication.

Try rephrasing your words if they aren’t understood.

If your family member didn’t understand what you said, don’t just repeat the exact words. They won’t understand the second time either, and you’ll end up frustrated and upset. Instead, find a way to rephrase and use different words. 

Encourage hearing loss treatment.

Does your loved one have a hearing device? If not, it’s time to talk about the benefits of hearing aids and encourage them to get a hearing test. The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that people wait seven years from the time they first notice changes in their hearing before they seek treatment. We offer the world’s best hearing aid manufacturers to ensure you get the help you need. 

Whatever your hearing needs and lifestyle, we have a hearing aid that can get you back to hearing and make communication a breeze. We have a wide selection of hearing aids, from traditional behind-the-ear models to sophisticated in-the-canal hearing devices that are nearly invisible. Advanced features help you tune in on speech sounds and block distracting noises. Not only that, but many of our favorite devices offer streaming features, so you can talk on the phone with loved ones and have the audio stream directly to your ears.

Our family relationships are essential for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Not being able to communicate with your loved ones can feel like you’re losing them. If you want to improve communication with your family, Call us today to discuss your options, book a hearing test, and find the hearing device that’s right for you.