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Communication Tips During COVID-19

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 24th September 2020 in: Latest News, Articles
Communication Tips During COVID-19

Communication Tips During COVID-19

Hearing Loss & PPE COVID Masks

It is no secret that the hearing loss community has struggled during the pandemic, as masks, group limitations and social distancing make communication tricky and stressful for those with limited hearing abilities and those who rely on lip-reading.

We know and understand that wearing masks are essential to keep us as safe as possible in the pandemic, but it also restricts vital visual cues and muffles speech cues that are important for those with hearing loss.

There are some other safety solutions out there like clear face guards and see-through masks, but these aren't as easily accessible than the standard surgical kind everyone can get their hands on - and with a growth in demand it isn't going to get any better.

As we continue to tackle through this pandemic and whilst wearing face masks are compulsory pretty much everywhere - we need to focus on those who have hearing loss or who are deaf during this time. 

We thought this was a good time to give some useful information on how we can stay safe, continue to communicate and still feel connected to our community, family and friends.  This way we can all activity help those who are affected during this challenging time with their hearing impairment.

Communication tips for those with hearing loss

  • As early as possible, tell the person you are talking with to speak slow, clear and loud - verbally or using a written message or text.
  • Tell them to write anything down that is complex or needs more clarity.  Or alternatively, use a phone.
  • Where possible, ensure you are always in a quiet environment when talking.

When wearing hearing aids

  • Make sure you maintain good hearing aid care, so your devices can work to their full potential at all times.
  • Ensure your batteries are fully charged and will last you all day.
  • When you are wearing a mask, fix your hearing aids with masking tape or use a headband to keep them secure throughout your day, so you don't lose them and they feel more secure.
  • To help with the above tip, opt for the tie masks rather than the ones that have ear hoops or use an extender to tie the ear loops around your head.  These options will make your hearing aids feel more comfortable.

Communication Tips & Masks

Communication tips for those who are wearing face masks and talking to someone with hearing loss

  • Always speak slow, loud and clear - this means they can hear better or (and) lip read. 
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Wherever you can - try to talk somewhere quiet.
  • Write anything more complex down on paper or use a mobile phone to communicate.
  • Ask them if they want to communicate in a specific way like using a mobile, writing pad etc..
  • Use hand gestures and body language to express what you are communicating.

 Tips for wearing a face mask with hearing aids

When wearing hearing aids, we understand that it is tricky to keep your mask on securely and comfortably.  More importantly, there is also the issue of trying to find a solution to avoid your hearing aids falling out and getting lost.  Here are a few tips we hope might help.

  1. Look for a mask that ties or goes around your head, rather than behind your ears.  We believe that these might be the best masks to wear with hearing aids.
  2. If you have long hair, try putting your hair in a bun and secure your mask straps/hoops around the bun.
  3. An alternative to the first tip put a piece of ribbon or string through the mask hoops and tie behind your head.
  4. You could also sew two buttons on a material headband and hook the mask hoops above your ears instead.

 

Read Next:  Signia's Remote Assistance - Including the new "Mask Mode"  |  Audiology Services During Coronavirus Pandemic

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Paul Harrison
Hearing Aid Advisor
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