If someone in your life has gotten hearing aids, it is important to remember that hearing aids require an adjustment period for the person using them. This means that you too have to do some adjusting in the way you communicate with them. There are simple steps you can take to be sure they get the most out of their hearing aids and you both get the most out of your conversations.
Reduce background noise
Of course if you are in a public place, such as a restaurant or shopping mall, this isn't always possible. But if you are at home, turn down the television, radio and even the air conditioner. If there are children in the home, have them play in another room and make sure windows are closed to block noise coming in from outside. Background noises can really impede the ability of a person with hearing loss to follow a conversation, even with a hearing aid device, so as much as you can, remove it from the equation.
If you are somewhere where you cannot reduce background noise, try to limit your exposure to it. Ask for a quiet corner in restaurants and avoid places like sidewalk cafes and stores with piped in music.
Attract the listener's attention first
When you are speaking to a person without hearing loss, it is normal to simply launch into whatever you are going to say. However, when a person has hearing loss, even with a hearing aid, they may miss the first part of what you say if they weren't ready to listen. Be sure to get their attention before you begin speaking, either with a light touch to their hand or arm, or by saying their name and waiting for a response so you know they are ready to begin.
It feels counter-intuitive to speak in your normal voice when dealing with someone who is adjusting to a hearing aid. In fact, you may feel the need to shout or speak slowly. But the truth is that shouting can actually make some words harder to understand. Speak in your normal voice, using clear enunciation so each word is distinguishable to the listener, but not so slowly that you give up your natural speaking rhythm.
Face the listening device wearer
Make sure your listener can see you speak. Being able to see the words your lips form helps with comprehension. This also allows you to use body language to communicate more effectively. It is also good to maintain eye contact while conversing. A lot is said with facial expressions and it will only enhance the conversation for you and the listener.
Repeat and rephrase
If you see than you aren't being understood, be ready to repeat or even rephrase what you are saying. Sometimes using different words makes it easier for the listener to understand. If someone with a hearing aid enters a group in mid-conversation, you may need to repeat some of what's been said to bring him/her up to speed so that he/she can participate.
A hearing aid device is an adjustment for both speaker and listener. Using some of these tips should make the adjustment should be smoother for both parties.