As frustrating as it can be for a hard of hearing person to communicate with their loved ones and friends, it can be equally frustrating for others to communicate with them. Communication is a two-way street and both sides must work together to facilitate a healthy conversation. Thankfully, there are things that can be done on both sides to aid in the dialog. The most important aspect is to be aware of what the person with hearing loss experiences.

Important facts on hearing loss

  • ‍Most people with hearing loss have more difficulty with clarity of speech as opposed to volume of sound. They may say they don’t hear you but what they often mean is that they cannot understand which words you’re using.
  • Background noise makes hearing more difficult. If someone is hard of hearing already then it is even more challenging in noise.
  • Hearing loss can appear as confusion. If a senior appears to be confused often then a proper hearing test should be performed to ensure it isn’t because they cannot understand what is said.
  • It is embarrassing to not understand what we’re told.  Some people may pretend that they have heard the dialog.

Good communication tips

  • ‍Background noise can make it more difficult to understand. Wherever possible you should reduce any noise or move somewhere quieter.
  • If you get the other person’s attention first, they are less likely to miss the first few words of what you say.
  • When you speak from a distance it is more challenging to understand. Be sure to move to the same room so you’re not shouting down the hall.
  • The hard of hearing person may be misunderstanding what you are saying without realizing it. If they give you strange answers check to make sure you are both having the same conversation.
  • Visual cues can help considerably. Be sure your face is visible as well as your mouth. Avoid chewing gum and turn the lights on.
  • Don’t yell. Yelling will distort your voice and leave it unnatural. Be sure to speak at a clear, natural volume.
  • Rephrasing words rather than repeating can help. There may be a particular word the person isn’t quite catching and using different words may help them understand.
  • Don’t speak to slowly, too quickly or exaggerated. Try to keep a natural steady pace.
  • Above all, please remain patient. Getting upset at someone else for not hearing you does nothing to resolve the challenges that you are both experiencing.







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John Thistle BC-HIS
John grew up hard of hearing from a young age and decided to dedicate his career to helping others who experience the same frustrations. It is because of this that he graduated from the Hearing Instrument Specialist program at George Brown College in 2006 and is a member of the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario. John began his work in hearing aid clinics in 2004 and also worked for a hearing aid manufacturer as a Product and Education Specialist. John continued to pursue excellence and became the first Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist in Durham Region with international accreditation. John and his wife Becky have a young son together. In his spare time John can be found volunteering within the community, hiking and enjoying culinary challenges. About Newcastle Hearing Solutions: As Newcastle’s preferred Hearing Health Clinic we strive to offer the residents of the Village of Newcastle and surrounding areas the highest possible quality of care and service. We opened our doors in 2011 and the response from the community has been overwhelming. People have been so pleased with our level of care that they love to refer their friends and family members. Being residents of Newcastle, we truly are local. Located in the historic Massey Building across from Foodland, our professional team is prepared to work with any and all hearing aid models to ensure they are providing the greatest assistance possible.


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