If you or your loved one experiences signs of diminished hearing, such as difficulty understanding a conversation, muffled speech or mumbling, withdrawal from conversation, or unexplained anger or embarrassment, schedule an appointment with a doctor for a hearing test. But do not be alarmed — we have many options today for coping with hearing loss and making daily life easier for seniors and their caregivers.
5 ways to live with hearing loss at home
1. Start by making easy, no-cost adjustments to communicate more easily.
• Turn off background noise that can interfere with a conversation, such as a television or radio.
• Position yourself for better hearing, facing the person you’re conversing with and asking her to face you.
• Ask others to speak clearly but not to shout. Most people are helpful if they know you’re having a hard time hearing them.
2. Enhance quality of life with hearing aids. For mild to moderately severe hearing loss, hearing aids can be an affordable, comfortable solution, such as these models: http://www.caregiverpartnership.com/
• Would you be more comfortable with an over-the-ear or an in-the-canal design?
• Does the model you’re considering offer features like adaptive feedback cancellation and noise reduction?
• Does it use high-quality components? Read user reviews of the models you’re considering.
• Is there a trial period with a money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty?
3. Keep communication open with an amplified telephone. Look for models specially designed for those with hearing or vision loss, which may include powerful amplification of talking caller ID and voice calls. Some models even offer extra features such as a wearable pendant for answering calls without getting up, such as this one: http://caregiverpartnership.com/
• Is there a monthly monitoring fee?
• Is there a trial period with a money-back guarantee?
• What kind of manufacturer’
4. Consider other assistive-listening or alerting devices. Options include:
• Personal listening systems that connect to electronics such as a TV or radio.
• Alerting devices that use lights or vibrations to indicate a doorbell or telephone.
• Television closed-captioning, which allows the viewer to read the words at the bottom of the screen.
• A text telephone, sometimes called TTY or TDD, where the user types messages rather than trying to listen to phone conversations.
5. Learn how to talk with someone who has hearing loss. Try the following tips to increase understanding and make your loved one feel involved in the conversation.
• Position yourself to be heard. Position yourself so light is on your face for better visibility, which can lead to easier understanding. Get the person’s attention before you start talking. Talk into the individual’s good ear if that’s a factor.
• Speak slowly, and use facial expressions and body language to assist in understanding.
• Watch for misunderstanding, such as replies that don’t make sense. Repeat what you said with different words or ask the person to repeat what he heard.
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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wis. Visit http://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.