When you're employed in nursing in aged care, you're faced with several challenges. A common among the elderly is hearing loss, which can significantly affect their quality of life and how they interact with others. As an aged care worker, your job is to overcome this barrier and ensure that your patient feels heard and can converse.
What Percentage Of Australians Have Hearing Loss?
Impaired hearing is a problem affecting over 45% of Australians over 50, so it stands to reason that you're going to come up against the issue sooner or later. As people age, it’s hearing and sight that is affected the most in terms of senses, so those in the industry need to cater to it sufficiently so that the care they receive is as supportive as it can be
How Do You Communicate With A Resident Who Is Hearing Impaired?
As the best-aged care courses show, there are ways you can mitigate the problem of impaired hearing for those you care for, so come with us now as we take through some of them.
Minimise Background Noise
When looking after someone in a care home setting, there will be increased background or ambient noise. This can be a real problem for those with hearing problems, as background noise can make it almost impossible for words to be discerned. As such, you should do your best to turn off TVs, close doors, and make things easier for your patient.
Make Sure People Speak One At A Time
Clear communication is important when nursing in aged care, which means speaking at the correct volume and ensuring only one person speaks at a time. People talking in your vicinity can make things very tricky for someone who can't hear properly, so when conversing, try and do so in a quiet area away from noises that may interfere with your patient's understanding.
Be Prepared To Repeat What You Say
Communication is one of the pillars of good health for seniors, as it helps them to make connections that reduce anxiety and improve mental wellness. Moreover, they’re often not going to get what you’re talking about on the first try, so you must remain calm and non-judgemental and simply repeat what you said. Be sure to repeat it the same each time, though, or it may be too confusing for them to understand.
Make It Easier For Patients To Lip Read
While only a small percentage of Australian seniors with hearing loss will ever have studied lip-reading, they can still get a lot from looking at your mouth and overall facial expressions. So, as part of your personal development in the role, you should avoid obscuring your mouth or chewing gum while talking.
Always be sure to face the person you're speaking to, or this can also make communication difficult.
By finding a way to properly converse with patients with hearing loss, you reassure them that someone is listening to them. Just a simple conversation can do so much for a person's mental well-being, so it's something you should focus on. Check out the Health Direct government website for more information on hearing loss.
Enjoy A Rewarding Career Nursing In Aged Care With OCA
Working in aged care is one of the most rewarding roles you can pursue, and it's never been easier to train for it thanks to CPD-endorsed OCA short courses online, like our Aged Care in the Community Course. Delivered entirely online and modular, our aged care courses offer an immersive learning experience that makes learning new skills a cinch.
The online training we provide comes with 1-to-1 mentoring for every student and 24/7 tutorial support, meaning you'll always have help if you get stuck. However, to get an authentic feel for the experience we offer, check out our Student Study Demo, which lays it all out clearly.
Our students often tell us that we offer the best online courses Australia can provide, partly because all our courses are created in collaboration with top experts from the industry. Visit us today at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au, and you'll also see that our courses cover over 20 different sectors.
To speak to us about anything else or even our flexible payment plans that make our learning even more affordable than it already is, simply call us at 1300 611 404 or email [email protected]. As soon as we hear from you, we’ll do our best to answer you as quickly as possible.