Elderly Companion Services and Tips for Seniors Who Struggle with Hearing Loss During COVID-19 in Bangor, ME
As seniors age, it is common for them to struggle with progressive hearing loss. According to recent research, one in three people who are between 65 and 74 suffer from hearing loss. There are many ways for seniors to adjust to their hearing problems, however this has become far more difficult during COVID-19.
Because so many people are using masks to keep people safe from COVID-19, seniors who struggle with hearing are having a more difficult time communicating with the people they care about. At Visiting Angels Mid Maine, we offer compassionate and professional elderly companion services and tips on how to communicate with seniors who have hearing difficulties.
Visiting Angels Mid Maine Offers Elderly Companion Services to Seniors with Limited Hearing in Bangor
Masks and Hearing Loss
Many individuals who are hard of hearing rely heavily on watching the way people move their mouths as they speak. With so many people wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this makes interpreting speech nearly impossible. According to a study published in the Hearing Review, many masks that the public has adopted act as sound filters. In fact, some of these masks can degrade speech so much that it can be almost impossible to understand for those who have hearing disabilities.
Speaking Through Masks
To accommodate seniors who have difficulty hearing, here are some things you can do:
- Speak slowly
- Rephrase your words instead of repeating them when you are not understood
- Try to eliminate background noise
- Make sure you have the attention of your listener
- Utilize your body language
- If you are speaking to someone who wears a hearing aid, make sure they are wearing it and that it works properly
- Speak clearly
- Do not shout
Dr. Mandy Mroz, AuD, president of Healthy Hearing, recommends, “Don’t underestimate the power of body language, eye contact and slowing down speech to be more clear.”
Suggestions for Seniors
Seniors with hearing disabilities have complained about the problems that accompany wearing masks. Not only do masks muffle and distort speech, but they also have been known to dislodge hearing aids. In noisy and stressful environments such as hospitals and other medical facilities, seniors may have a difficult time understanding the directions their physician gives them.
Our elderly companion services can help seniors who have hearing disabilities and provide insight on how to adjust during COVID-19. Here are some tips for seniors:
- Utilize plastic mask extenders or loops to secure masks instead of the ear loops
- Be willing to let others know about your hearing difficulties
- Ask others to take turns speaking
- Make sure to face the people speaking to you
- Take off masks slowly
- Encourage others to practice good speaking habits
There are many available resources for seniors who are hard of hearing and are having difficulty adjusting to masks and social distancing. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association created a video directed at employers which features tips on how to make the virtual workplace more accommodating to those with hearing disabilities.
Visiting Angels Mid Maine Is Here to Help
If you have a loved one who is struggling with hearing loss, our elderly companion services at Visiting Angels Mid Maine can help. Our compassionate home care providers are here to help from transportation to personal care to companionship.
To learn more about our elderly companion services, contact us today! Reach us at 207-605-8288 and ask about how our elderly companion services can help you.