How to Accommodate Someone Who Has Partially Lost Hearing

February 7th, 2014 | by Andreas Seelisch | Awareness
How to Accommodate Someone Who Has Partially Lost Hearing

Whenever we come across an elderly person with hearing loss, our first instinct might be to yell louder. But is this really the best way to ensure that anyone with hearing loss can adequately join in the conversation? If you are with someone who has experienced hearing loss, use these tips to help maintain a polite, dignified conversation.

Don’t Yell.

There are much better ways to get your message across in a conversation than yelling. If you’re in a group of more than just two people, the others in the group may not appreciate the yelling either.

Garner Attention

Get the attention of the person with whom you wish to speak. If you have to touch someone gently to get their attention, then that can be an easy way to do so. Be sure not to scare someone with your touch if they’re not expecting it.


Turn to face the person directly when you are speaking with them. Don’t put obstacles in your way that might obscure either of you. Just like when someone is deaf, we often use visual cues to help determine what a person is saying. Be sure you are having a conversation in a well-lit area so any non-verbal cues can be easily picked up.

Low Voices

Higher pitched voices are often harder to hear than lower pitched voices. If you are with someone, speak in a lower tone, and they’ll be able to hear you better.

Listen for Background Noise

There’s often much going on in the world around us that we don’t even take into account. Listen for a moment to determine if there is a large amount of traffic or another noise that might drown out your voice in a conversation. When you are positioning for a conversation, it is best to have the person sit by a wall. This way, you can be sure they will have no background noise coming from all directions.

Watch Closely

If someone has missed something in a conversation, you can often notice the fact by watching their face. Be aware that they may have missed something, and you may have to repeat yourself.

When dealing with someone with hearing loss, it’s important to do so with compassion and caring. Ask the person what helps them personally to better understand voices. They may have their own tips and tricks for you to do.


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