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13 Feb 2022 Caregiver Guide for Seniors with Hearing Loss (How to Communicate Easily)

The problem of hearing loss in old age is terrible. Deafness cuts the elderly off from their loved ones and the outer world. It is painful to accept for our loved ones that they are losing hearing quality by age and therefore, they hardly admit about their hearing loss and deny the treatment as well.

Not all senior people have the same type of hearing loss problem. Some are at the beginning stage of hearing loss (mild hearing loss) that can be easily treated by giving accurate treatment or using hearing aids. But some seniors hardly listen or totally fail to listen. Sometimes, even the operation of hearing parts is not a viable solution.

Fortunately, families and in-home caregivers for seniors can ensure good communication with the elderly by using some tips and tricks.

How to Deal with the Elderly with Hearing Loss Problem 

Here are some do's and don'ts for one on one conversation that will help families and in-home Senior Caregivers communicate with the loved one with hearing loss easily:

Things To Do:

First, get the attention of the elderly before you start speaking with them. You can do it by waving your hand or touching their hand or shoulder gently. 

  1. Sit close to your loved one's better ear (if it is possible).

  2. Complement what you are saying with your body language and gestures.

  3. Make sure that when you speak to them, the space is properly illuminated.

  4. Articulate your words clearly and slowly so that they can understand by the movement of your lips.

  5. Try to eliminate the background disturbance if you can.

  6. Give them time to understand your words.

  7. Try to teach them American Sign Language (ASL), at least for simple tasks and emergencies.

  8. Ask easy and open-ended questions that require direct answers. Avoid making your sentences and questions complicated. 

  9. Explain to them before you need to hold the conversation if the doorbell or telephone rings.

  10. Make them feel respected and loved because, sometimes, love expresses everything instead of words.

  11. Double communicate for important information like meeting with the doctor. For that, apart from telling them, you can send emails, text messages, or leave notes where they can notice them.

  12. Use technologies such as Ava or voice-to-text recognition apps to make communication easier for them.

  13. When hiring a Care Service for Senior, make sure that the caregiver has prior experience in caring for seniors who have/had hearing issues. 

Things Not To Do:

  1. Speaking to the elderly without giving cues.

  2. Covering your face or looking down while speaking.

  3. Trying to communicate from another room.

  4. Sitting or standing in a way that covers the light source.

  5. Shouting or speaking fast with your loved ones.

  6. Turning off the TV show they are watching without their permission.

  7. Walking away in the middle of the conversation. 


Senior people with hearing problems need extra care, love, and affection to cope with them because they are already suffering and feeling uncomfortable with this condition.

When you fail to address their needs properly, they can get easily depressed as they are unable to understand what is being said. What is worse, this depressing and confusing situation can also put them at risk of dementia.


How to Handle Group Conversations for Elderly with Hearing Loss

Group conversation is an important part of any family gathering but can be a challenge for seniors who are suffering from hearing loss.

Nonetheless, you can involve them in a family gathering and group conversion. How?


  1. Inform them when starting a new conversation topic by pointing to the person you/others are talking about.

  2. Try to slow down the pace of conversation.

  3. Make the group members sit in a circle near your senior loved one so that they can easily identify who is speaking and what is being said through lip reading.


How to Help the Elderly (with Hearing Loss) Handle Telephone Conversations 

Senior loved ones with hearing loss can talk to people on a traditional telephone by using their hearing aids easily. Just make sure that the person on the other side is speaking clearly or giving your loved one extra processing time. 

You can also take advantage of modern gadgets that can be connected via Bluetooth with their hearing aids and their smartphone. This way, they can talk with a cool hands-free experience. 

Lastly, it is highly recommended that if your senior loved one is facing hearing issues, then the in-home caregiver for senior you want to hire must also know ASL and have sufficient experience with caring for seniors with deafness or low hearing quality.