Hearing loss is very common in older adults. It can be especially hard for them to hear when more than one person is talking or there is a lot of background noise. Here are some tips you can use when talking with someone who has a hearing problem:
- In a group, include people with hearing loss in the conversation.
- Find a quiet place to talk to help reduce background noise, especially in restaurants and at social gatherings.
- Stand in good lighting and use facial expressions or gestures to give clues.
- Face the person and speak clearly.
- Speak a little more loudly than normal, but don’t shout.
- Speak at a reasonable speed.
- Do not hide your mouth, eat, or chew gum while speaking.
- Repeat yourself if necessary, using different words.
- Try to make sure only one person talks at a time.
- Be patient. Stay positive and relaxed.
- Ask how you can help.
Many thanks to the National Institute on Aging for this information. More information on hearing loss is available here.