Caring for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing is not easy. It can sometimes be overwhelming and frustrating. This can put a strain on your relationship with the person. If you lack the needed knowledge that is required to care for someone that is deaf, it can lead to their feelings being hurt, and both parties being stressed. However, there are steps you can take when caring for the deaf to avoid any frustration on your part or theirs. Here are 10 things that will aid you in taking better care of the deaf.
1. Be an advocate
A good way to take care of someone is to support them. Advocating for your loved one that is deaf will make a lot of situations easier for them. Advocating means helping others become more aware of ways they can effectively communicate with the deaf.
You can also let people know things that may be considered offensive. This will be beneficial as it is a good way to create awareness about deafness and allow people to pay more attention to how they treat and communicate with the deaf.
2.Attend hearing appointments
Caring for someone means being an emotional support system for them. This is especially important if a person with a disability is a spouse, family member, or friend. You can show your support by attending hearing appointments with them. This is also a great way to know more about the situation.
So, be sure to keep track of appointment dates and go with your loved one to these appointments. If you can’t attend them all, try to go as much as possible just to be there for them. While you’re there you can ask the doctor a few questions so you can be more informed. This will help you to better relate to your loved one.
3.Suggest Auditory Rehabilitation
Deafness and hearing loss impacts the person and everyone around them. Auditory rehabilitation will help the deaf and their loved ones adjust to this situation and move forward effectively. Auditory rehabilitation includes a series of classes geared towards helping people living with hearing loss. It helps to improve communication.
Auditory rehabilitation is also good as it helps the deaf and the people around them to adjust to cochlear implants and hearing aids. Auditory rehabilitation also provides counseling and educates the deaf on their legal rights in the workplace and in general. This is an excellent way to care for the deaf so you should suggest going to auditory rehab.
4.Ensure they get all the help they need
When caring for the deaf you must ensure that they get all the help they need to function well in society. This includes getting them the right specialists and hearing aids. Doing this will make sure that they are properly assessed and diagnosed so that they can get the aid they need.
Diagrams and visual signs in American Sign Language are also helpful so you can ensure these are available Choosing the right hearing aid is very important. So, the best way to care for the deaf is to ensure that they have access to all that they need.
5.Learn sign language
An important part of caring for someone is communicating effectively with them so you can understand them better. Effective communication with the deaf means learning sign language. People who are hard of hearing communicate using hand signs and visual gestures. There are many institutions available that specialize in teaching sign language.
You should ensure that your loved one learns sign language as soon as possible so that they can communicate with others. It is also important that you learn sign language too. This is how you and your loved one will have to communicate if they are profoundly deaf. Sign language classes are also available online. There are many options available to help you and your loved one learn sign language.
6.Provide writing or typing instruments
It is quite frustrating when there are barriers blocking communication. Human beings must be able to communicate with each other. Deafness causes a lack of effective communication when the proper tools for communication are not provided.
One way to communicate with the deaf is by ensuring that they having a hearing aid to help them hear better. Sign language is also a great means of communication. However, writing and typing work too.
Pen, paper, or any other writing instrument can help the deaf communicate better with others and vice versa. These can be used to write whatever needs to be said so that both parties can address each other. Modern technology also helps to foster communication.
A smartphone or tablet is great tool for communicating with the deaf. Apps like WhatsApp and Messenger that facilitates real-time exchange of text messages are helpful. Also, smart devices have notepads for making notes. So whatever medium you choose, you can care for the deaf by ensuring they have writing or typing equipment.
7.Use gestures and facial expression
Non-verbal communication is important when caring for the deaf. Sign language might be hard to learn so it might take you some time to communicate efficiently with it. So, you must find other means to make communication easier. Using gestures and facial expressions will help. Even while speaking, human beings use a lot of body gestures and facial expressions to get their messages across easier.
Gestures and facial expressions vary across cultures. Different cultures attach different meanings to body language. So people in the same culture can communicate with each item without using words. This makes caring for the deaf a little easier. Make a habit of using more body language to get your messages across.
8.Create dubbing of audio messages
Dubbing audio messages is a great way to care for the deaf. This will allow them to feel included. These are simple things that make a big difference. Creating visual displays for audio messages will make sure that everyone can understand what is being said.
Also, putting closed captions on TVs and video streaming services will help. This makes it possible for those who are hard of hearing to enjoy things like movies and other TV shows, and any other type of video they would like to watch. This is a great way to show you care and to enjoy watching videos with your loved one.
9.Beware of misunderstandings
When there is a communication barrier misunderstandings are common. This can make caring for the deaf frustrating for both you and them. This will make the situation a lot more stressful. To avoid making a situation that is already hard more difficult, be sure there are no misunderstandings. You should do whatever it takes to make sure messages are being conveyed properly.
This also includes not giving up when they have difficulties understanding something you are trying to communicate with them. Patience is a huge part of caring for someone. You have to find different ways to get your message across if your first approach does not work. Try rephrasing the message or using another medium.
10.There is no need to shout
Caring for the deaf means understanding things that are offensive. People often feel the need to shout when speaking to those who are hard of hearing. There is no need for you to shout. All you have to do is speak directly to them and as clear as possible. Also, if they have a hearing aid in one ear, it’s best to speak on that side. This will help to avoid unnecessary shouting.
Caring for the deaf can be challenging but there are ways to do this effectively. Being an emotional support system and ensuring they have all they need to function properly will help. You must also make sure that you are informed about the situation and to learn Sign Language to foster better communication. Find various ways to make sure communication is done effectively and efficiently. These are great ways to care for the deaf.