ďWhen you lose your eyesight, you lose contact with things;
when you lose your hearing, you lose contact with people.Ē
~ Helen Keller
Try these strategies to help you stay connected.
FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS:
Look at the person. Seeing your face and expressions helps them understand what youíre saying.
Get their attention BEFORE you speak. Say their name or lightly touch them before you start talking
Turn down other noise, like the TV or radio if you want to talk.
Move close. Donít try to talk from another room or around the corner.
Keep your mouth visible. Keep your hands away from your mouth while you talk and avoid chewing food while talking.
Speak naturally. Donít yell. Yelling actually distorts the words.
Rephrase. Try a new word or phrase instead of simply repeating what you said. Usually itís just a word or a part of a word that is missed so using a different word often helps.
Pause to let the person process what youíve said.
In restaurants, choose a table thatís away from crowded or noisy areas.
Look at what you want to hear.
Move closer, if possible.
Turn off other noise. Mute the TV or radio. Move away from the dishwasher or other noise sources to help yourself hear better.
Choose a quiet corner table in restaurants.
Ask for help. Most people will help if they know you're having trouble.
Be specific when you ask for help. If you heard most of it, say what you heard and then they can clarify what you missed instead of repeating the whole thing. This helps reduce frustration for everyone.
Consider using an assistive device with your television or phone.
Try captions. Most newer TVs have the option for captions built in. Try it and see if that helps you catch what you're missing on TV.
Consider trying hearing aids if you haven't tried them yet.