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CNA Training & Classes | December 17, 2017

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Hearing Impairments

Hearing disorders can be a real hindrance to residents. They can have trouble understanding what others say, especially if the speech is fast or noises are present in the background. Understanding of speech may also be worsened,  if the person talking has a different accent or does not speak English as their first language.

Though hearing loss cannot affect the person directly in their daily activities,  they may be affected indirectly through their feelings of inability. This is the reason why some residents having hearing impairments may lose their interest in socializing and even participating in activities.

When communicating with residents who have impaired hearing, always remember to speak clearly and slowly in order for them to catch up what you are saying to them. Never cover your mouth when talking since residents will also try to understand what you are saying to them through reading your lips.

Decrease noisy background or get away from the noise when talking to residents. When you begin conversing with the resident do not be stand behind nor beside the patient,  but in front of him in order for him to know that you are saying.

Improve your communication with the resident with the help of visual aid materials, writing and using sign language. When taking care of residents who have hearing aids, follow the protocol regarding cleaning and storing these devices to prevent damage of the device.

After each conversation with the resident, try to ask for resident’s confirmation whether he understands what you are saying to him. Letting him repeat your statements is one way to confirm.

A person may be able to adapt his hearing inability by strengthening his other senses therefore it is important to determine his strongest senses and use it for communication. A good example of this would be a blind man which has lost his eyesight. The loss of sight enables the blind man to use other senses in order to describe what he might be seeing if he was not blind. He might use other senses like sense of smell and touch to describe things. Due to the constant use of these senses, the person will be able to describe something despite the inability to see it directly. The person uses the other senses in order to compensate something the he does not have thus this can become his strong point which can therefore break the hindrances of communication.

Still, it is also important to let the resident use all the senses equally to prevent sensory overload. Sensory overload is a situation where excessive smell, noise and sight can over stimulate the person causing them to suffer stress.