If a member of your household has hearing loss, communication can breakdown. There are so many difficult scenarios just inside your home that might cause miscommunication, which can lead to stress, tension, and even arguments! This blog post is all about communication strategies around the home that you and your family can implement right away.
1) Get their attention
Communication often breaks down when someone makes a quick, out of context comment, especially when the other is concentrating on or even listening to something else. If you want to say something, get their attention first. Use their name, and make sure they have responded or looked at you before delivering the message.
1) Make eye contact
A common complaint around the house is that ‘my wife always talks into the cupboard!’. Remember, with hearing loss and hearing aids, you will always hear better when the sound source is coming from in front of you, and you’ll have additional ‘clues’ from the person’s facial expressions. Try to always turn to look at the person before you start speaking, and make eye contact so that they can get as much information as clearly as possible.
If communication does break down, don’t just repeat your sentence over and over again. Try rephrasing the message so that the person has more chance of figuring out what you are trying to say. A rephrase, rather than a repeat, gives more information to their ears and brain.
4) Don’t shout!
When someone doesn’t hear you, the common instinct is to shout the message- but making the sound louder and somewhat distorted with a shout will not help them to understand you better. Speak slowly and clearly, but don’t shout. This will also help to keep the peace!
5) Avoid competing
If your loved one is watching TV or listening to music, don’t try to speak over them. Pause or mute the TV or sound system, or ask them to remove their headphones or turn off their TV streamer, before you begin to talk. If their hearing attention is focused on something else, they aren’t likely to pick up every word that you’ve said, so don’t try to compete.
6) Consider environmental sounds
Be conscious of the sounds in your home. Remember that hearing loss makes it more difficult to distinguish between speech and environmental noises. If the kettle is boiling, or the washing machine is running, it will likely make it more difficult for your loved one to hear you clearly. Be aware of other sounds around you, and try to avoid saying important things in their presence, or wait until the sound is gone.
Communication around the home is very important. Using these communication strategies around the home, you can try to avoid communication breakdown and it’s ensuing conflict. If all else fails, laugh about it! You won’t always hear each other perfectly, but being able to see it from a light-hearted perspective will help to prevent further disagreements. If you have found any other communication strategies helpful, comment below, or contact us if you need help.