Communicating With Hearing Loss In Assisted Living
Approximately 60% of assisted living and memory care residents have hearing loss. Effective communication is essential, but hearing loss can throw some hurdles in the way. Without communication, everyday tasks become more complicated and can leave staff and residents frustrated.
Many assisted living facilities educate their staff about deaf culture and easy means of communication, even without sign language. Communication support may include:
- Medical interpreters who are fluent in sign language
- Communication technology like voiced texts or video chat
- Captioned media during activities
Emotional Impacts Hearing Loss
Any sensory impairment can affect a person’s desire to engage socially and leave them feeling lonely. Those with hearing loss may isolate themselves because they struggle to hold a conversation.
Self-isolation puts seniors at risk for depression, anxiety, dementia, and cognitive decline because they are not actively engaging their brains with social interaction.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Physical Health
Hearing loss is often comorbidity with other physical illnesses like diabetes and coronary conditions. People with hearing loss are also at higher risk for falls because the ears help control balance. These factors can contribute to chronic illnesses and their progression.
Deaf-Friendly Assisted Living Facilities
If you are considering moving a loved one to an assisted living facility and they are deaf or hard of hearing, consider the following:
- Take a tour of any prospective facility and ask questions about accommodations for the hard of hearing.
- Look for audiovisual equipment that will assist those with hearing loss.
- Check for features like carpets, rugs, and drapes that support a quieter acoustic environment.
- Ask about interpreter services and communications training.
- Take note of alert systems for the hearing-impaired like light alerts, vibrating alarms or beds, and strobe lights.
The team at Audio Help Hearing Centers wants to provide you the support you need to make an informed decision about assisted living care. Call 888-832-9966 or contact us online for more information on our services and locations.