If your senior has started to experience changes to her hearing, you might have noticed that she gets frustrated a little more easily. Minimizing that frustration is an important part of making sure that she doesn’t just shut down communication altogether.
Avoid Shouting, but Slow Down a Little
The normal reaction when someone has trouble hearing might be to raise your voice, but that doesn’t actually help. What that does is distort your voice, making it even more difficult for your senior to make out what you’re saying. If you slow down a little bit, though, that can help much more. Your senior may be able to get a better idea what the words are.
Face Your Senior When You Talk
Something else you can do easily is to make sure that you’re facing your senior when you talk. That allows her to see your lips and your mouth as they move. Even if your elderly family member doesn’t have any lip-reading skills, seeing the forms your lips are taking as you talk can help her to rule out words that don’t make sense.
Choose Different Words Rather than Using the Same Phrasing
There are other situations in which no matter what else you try, the words you’re using just don’t make sense or come through for your senior. In that case, you’re much better off rephrasing what you’re saying with different words. That saves some time and some frustration both for you and for your senior.
Pay Attention to Her Responses
Make sure you’re paying close attention to your senior’s responses to what you’re saying. If it seems as if she’s replying with something that makes no sense to you, it’s probably because she heard something completely different from what you said. Checking in with her can help you both to avoid being frustrated to find out ten minutes down the line that you were having entirely different conversations.
Ask Her What Would Help Her
Talk to your elderly family member about what she needs from you. What would help her to feel less frustrated when you’re talking to each other? You might not have thought about some of the suggestions that she has to offer.
It’s difficult to deal with hearing loss, which often means your senior can end up more frustrated than either of you want her to be. Working with elderly care providers can help you both to learn new techniques that can help quite a bit. Elderly care providers can help in other ways, too, especially if things like driving have become a bit dangerous for your senior.