This has been a tough year. Our lives have been disrupted at the least and dramatically changed at the worst by COVID-19. The effects are far-reaching and life-changing for us all — especially for our kūpuna.
For those with hearing problems, it’s even more difficult to understand conversation when the speaker is wearing a mask. Voices become muffled and visual speech clues are hidden. Social distancing requires a separation of at least six feet, which makes it harder to communicate. The following are some tips for the kūpuna with hearing loss and their family and friends.
• Let the speaker know you have problems hearing.
• Ask the speaker to talk slower and louder so you are more likely to understand him or her.
Tips for family and friends:
• Make sure you have the person’s attention before you begin to speak.
• Never speak from another room or over a long distance.
• Ask a simple question to determine if you are being heard and understood. “Tūtū, can you understand me now?”
• Do not start speaking and then turn away. Always face the person you are talking to.