Nursing Homes Insurance: Communicating With the Hearing Impaired

Nursing Homes Insurance: Communicating With the Hearing ImpairedNursing Homes Insurance: Communicating With the Hearing Impaired

According to statistics, 47% of adults ages 75 and older have hearing impairments. 1 in 5 Americans overall have hearing loss in at least one ear. Though some individuals may assume that the senior they are speaking to is not “all there”, in many cases they can’t hear well, and may be too embarrassed to say so. The challenge this creates in nursing homes though, is miscommunication between caregivers and their patients.

In an earlier blog post we discussed how important it is to communicate directly with the elderly individual, rather than referring only to their caregiver. Otherwise, the patient may feel patronized, and will feel as though their time has been misspent.

When it comes to the hearing impaired, even if the individual is assisted by hearing aids, it’s important to use the following good communication strategies to ensure they understand the information being given or what is being asked of them.

Remain in their field of vision and keep your hands away from your face. It’s natural instinct to raise one’s voice when speaking with the hearing impaired, but they’ll have a better chance of understanding you if you face them so they can see your mouth.

Speak clearly, slowly, and distinctly without shouting or exaggerating mouth movements. Shouting actually distorts the sound of speech and makes speech reading more difficult. Also, try pausing every once in a while to give the hearing impaired individual a chance to react if they haven’t understood something.

Be aware of possible distortion of sounds. Your patient may be able to hear your voice, but could have difficulty understanding the words, especially if you are using terms they are unfamiliar with, or if you have an accent. Also, excessive background noise plays a large role in how well a hearing impaired person can understand you.

Ensure understanding. If you are giving the patient specific, important information, have them repeat the specifics back to you. It’s very important to remain patient if you do need to repeat yourself. Chances are the hearing impaired resident is just as frustrated that they don’t understand you.

At DigniCARE, we’re poised to help your nursing home meet the challenges of a changing environment where the goal is to elevate the quality of life for residents. Our services encompass innovative solutions for assisted living facilitiesindependent living facilitiesnursing homes, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). To learn more call (855) 883-6306.

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