Hearing impairment affects many older adults, and caregivers must be prepared to handle the challenges that accompany caring for someone who cannot always hear well. The La Mesa in-home care specialists at Coast Care Partners share a few tips on caring for older adults with hearing impairment.
Face Your Parent During Conversations
People with hearing loss use facial expressions and read lips to fill in the blanks during a conversation. Try to talk to your loved one face to face. If your loved one also has mild vision impairment, you may need to move closer and kneel down if he or she is sitting.
Use Short and Simple Sentences
Your loved one is likely to respond better if you use short sentences that allow time to decipher what he or she hears. Keeping your communication simple and short also makes it easier to repeat things as needed. As you choose your words, avoid using homophones to minimize mix-ups.
Plan for Regular Hearing Checks
Hearing loss typically progresses with age. For this reason, you need to make sure your loved one continues to have his or her hearing checked. For most seniors, annual hearing exams ensure their hearing devices are working properly and suited to their degree of hearing loss. However, you may also need to arrange for an appointment sooner if your loved one experiences a major change in the ability to hear.
Use Visual Alerts
Safety is a major concern for older adults who may not hear things such as fire alarms. Fortunately, alarms are available for people with hearing loss that give off visual cues such as flashing lights. You can also use similar techniques for nonemergency alarms. For instance, you can set your loved one’s medication reminders to the vibration setting so he or she can feel when it is time to take medicine.
Watch Out for Background Noise
Trying to hear over a blaring television or in a crowded room is difficult even for people who have perfect hearing. Try to maintain a quieter household that promotes better communication with your loved one by turning down the noise during the day. Hearing devices sometimes respond differently in crowded environments that generate an echo, such as a large cafeteria. If you’re going out with your loved one, choose less crowded places that have quieter environments.
Explore Alternative Transportation Options
Drivers rely on their hearing ability to hear things such as horns and sirens so they can move out of the way of danger on the road. Once your loved one has severe hearing loss, it may no longer be safe for him or her to drive. If your parent cannot drive due to hearing impairment, consider hiring professional transportation services.
Mild to moderate hearing loss is common among older adults. If your aging loved one needs help managing a particular illness or disorder, turn to Coast Care Partners. Whether they need respite care or 24-hour care, La Mesa seniors can trust our agency for high-quality in-home care services. Our caregivers can help your aging parent make healthy lifestyle choices that promote longevity and delay the onset of several health conditions. We also offer customized dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Call us at 619-354-2544 to learn about our premier home care services.