For hearing impaired family members, normal conversations can be a bit of a challenge, but parties or large gatherings can be almost impossible and very frustrating. Multiple voices and accents in simultaneous conversations, often combined with noisy children, can muddle the clearest sounds and make it difficult to understand what is being said and by whom. Barchester have comprised a list of the top ways in which we can assure our loved ones can be confident and able to communicate in a noisy environment. Why not try these out next time you are at a large social occasion?
Be strategic with the seating plan
Firstly, we recommend considering elderly members with difficulty hearing when planning the seating arrangement. Perhaps put guests with a hearing impairment with their back to a wall, as this means there will be less noise from behind, as well as in an area with adequate lighting so it is easier to see mouth movement. If it is possible, move those with hearing impairments into areas with less background noise. Make sure you do not exclude these visitors, as the elderly are the ones who need company the most and get the most value out of it during retirement.
Explain the situation to others and make sure everyone is considerate
Whilst the younger members of the family may want to play some music or put the football on, a simple reminder for them to be considerate can ensure everyone has the best time possible. Explaining that there is someone with hearing loss is also important so that people remember to talk face to face with those guests, as well as with the use of gestures. Facial expressions and body language go a long way in helping one to understand what someone is saying. Our care staff at Barchester are skilled in communicating with people with all kinds of needs, but not everyone is, so make sure all of your guests understand how they convey their thoughts and engage in conversation effectively.
Another great tip, is to recommend the person with impaired hearing consider using two hearing aids instead of only one. Using two hearing aids means your brain is able to filter out background noise more easily – giving more clarity to speech, as well as making hearing from greater distances easier and allowing for localization (the ability to figure out where sounds are coming from). The most important thing to consider when taking someone out of their care home, is that you are patient and show understanding. A family party can be difficult for an elderly person with hearing loss and will often lead to frustration.
If your elderly relatives are struggling to hear and are feeling a little isolated from the family, why not consider one of our care homes near you. We pride ourselves on keeping our guests comfortable, happy and healthy – but most importantly socially active, among people who have similar needs and a similar mindset. Contact us to find out more about how you can ensure your loved ones have the best retirement possible.