Talking to Children about Hearing loss

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

According to the RNID, nearly 70% of people 70 years or older have age-related hearing loss in the UK. If your parents are hard of hearing, they can have difficulties understanding sound or hearing what their grandchildren say in person or on the phone. It is essential to talk to your kids about grandparents with hearing impairment, but how and when should this conversation occur?

Explain Hearing Impairment

Children need to learn why they have to do something differently, don’t say, “Just because.” Explain that their grandparents have difficulty hearing; “Grandma might not have heard you the first time.” Or “Grandpa might constantly ask you to repeat yourself; he values what you have to say; he just can’t hear your words as clearly anymore.”

Explain that hearing loss is common as adults age, and it is our (kids and parents) job to find ways to increase our communication skills.

Explain Hearing Aids

Little ones have non-stop questions when they notice new gadgets and devices, especially if the device is on a person’s body. Talk to them about why their grandparent is wearing a hearing aid; explain
● Why their grandparent is wearing something in their ear
● Why the grandparents are the only ones wearing the device in the family
● How the hearing device works
● How to help grandparents care for their hearing aid, e.g., not to touch it or handle it when the grandparent is not wearing it
● Love and understanding when interacting with someone who is hard of hearing

Provide Clear Communication Instructions

Kids may get annoyed or feel their grandparents are ignoring them while, in the real sense, the hearing impairment leads to miscommunication and frustration. Provide your children with clear instructions on speaking to their hard-of-hearing grandparents.

Practical actions that foster better communication with the hearing impaired include:
● Tapping a grandparent’s shoulder, arm, or leg to catch their attention when you want to talk to them
● Using body language and facial expressions to emphasize a message
● Learning to repeat or rephrase what you said
● Trying to increase the volume of your voice
● Looking directly at the other person when talking, don’t talk across the room, but face to face
● Talking slower to articulate your message more clearly
● Turning off any distracting noise, like a TV or iPad

Wrapping Up

As most adults age, they experience age-related hearing loss. Talking to your children about grandparents with hearing impairment is essential to maintaining good relationships and communication.
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