Tips for talking to people with hearing loss…
The Department of Health and Aged Care has launched a Hearing Health Awareness and Prevention Campaign to increase awareness of the importance of hearing health.
The aim of this evidence-based campaign is to increase the intention of Australians with untreated or developing hearing loss (aged 50 – 70 years) to proactively manage their hearing health. The campaign to promote better communication with hard of hearing people is an excellent campaign and one that we support wholeheartedly!
If you are speaking to a person with hearing loss, there are some simple steps to help improve communication, whether they wear a hearing aid or not.
🔸 Get the person’s attention before starting a conversation:
Before starting a conversation, say the person’s name or touch them gently on the arm or shoulder, if appropriate.
🔸 Reduce background noise:
Reduce any background noise or try to find a quieter place to have a conversation. For example, turn off or move away from the television, radio, or otherwise noisy environment.
🔸 Rephrase instead of repeat:
If you are having trouble being understood, try rephrasing what you have said in another way, rather than repeating it.
🔸 Face the person:
Make sure the person can see your face without any obstructions. For example, don’t cover your mouth while speaking. Many people use lip reading to help understand what is being said.
🔸 Speak slowly and clearly:
Speak clearly and distinctly and if necessary, a little slower than usual. There is no need to shout.
🔸 Reduce the distance:
The farther you are from someone, the harder it is to hear. Move closer if you are far away or in another room.
🔸 Ask the person what helps them:
If you regularly speak with someone that has a hearing loss, ask what works best for them. Try to accommodate those needs in future conversations.
For more information on how the Department of Health and Aged Care are promoting good hearing health visit health.gov.au/hearing
Clinical Audiologist | Director
Shout Hearing Healthcare