A common issue among individuals who are taking care of deaf-blind seniors is how challenging the communication with them. People without prior experience with sensory loss tend to simply speak louder or use exaggerated gestures to get messages across. This will, however, not help as it does nothing to address the current conditions of their disabled loved one.
We at Deaf Wellness and Recreation Center, a professional deaf wellness center in Brooklyn, New York, know the important role that proper communication plays in a disabled senior’s health and security. To help you out, we have put together this list of communication tips you can try with your loved ones.
- Before starting any conversation, make your presence known to your senior and let them know who you are.
- Ask them beforehand what would make your discussion easier for them, so that they won’t have to pause and ask for help later in the conversation.
- Speak slowly and clearly, but don’t overdo it. There’s no need for you to use exaggerated hand gestures or speech.
- Short phrases may be easier to understand/lip-read, but don’t “dumb down” your intentions — your loved one is completely capable of understanding you just fine with normal words.