Working with a Loved One that is Losing Hearing Communicating with someone that is experiencing hearing loss can be difficult. When someone that you have consistent interaction with begins to lose his or her hearing, it is important that you know how to react properly to ensure that you can still communicate as much as you need to. Speak Face to Face Start by making sure that you are talking to this individual face to face. You want to be on the same level and make sure that you are in good light as often as you can be, to ensure that you are able to be seen as well as heard. Often times when an individual starts to lose his or her hearing, they will start to overcompensate and depend on their sight to make up for their hearing loss. Talking with your face away from the individual can make it difficult for them to hear what you are saying. This means that you should not expect them to hear you when you are in a different room. If you have something to say to someone that is struggling to hear, make sure that you walk to them and let them see your face throughout the time that you are talking to them. Although you may find that you want to start speaking louder or slower, it is important that you avoid this at first. Don’t try to talk fast but make sure that you are talking normally while facing the individual with hearing loss. If you are going to start a conversation with someone that has experienced hearing loss, start the conversation with the individual’s name. Starting the conversation with the individual’s name will ensure that you get their attention and that they are able to focus on you while you talk. Take Turns when Speaking in Groups When you are in a group setting, it is important that you all take turns talking. When someone is hearing impaired it can be very difficult to sort through a lot of extra noise to ensure that they are able to hear what you are saying. Take turns talking and make sure that everyone is respectful of this so that the individual that is losing his or her hearing does not feel left out. Although this can be difficult, making a concerted effort to do this can make a huge difference for the individual with hearing problems. There may also be some tools that you can introduce to the individual with hearing loss. A captioned phone can be a great way to ensure that this person is still able to talk on the phone throughout the time that they experience hearing loss. A captioned phone will enable an individual with hearing loss to read the conversation rather than having to listen to it. The captioned phone service provides many people the ability to use their phone when they would not have the option after losing their hearing. Although working with someone that has lost hearing can be difficult, it is important that you are patient and loving. This way, you can continue to interact and enjoy one another’s company.