Tips to work with Elderly Clients with Hearing and Vision Impairments
According to the CDC, Americans aged 65 and over make up only 12.8 percent of the U.S. population, and they account for approximately 37 percent of all hearing-impaired individuals and 30 percent of all visually impaired individuals.
Add to this, nearly 37 percent of all visits to physicians’ offices for eye care are made by persons 65 years of age and older.
Alliance Senior Care Geriatric Care and Specialized Care services support family caregivers and older clients with customized care plans to suit your specific circumstances. Offering direct support though care delivery and being able to spot changes in your elderly loved ones vision and hearing can ensure they get the care they need.
Supporting Clients with hearing Deficits
Age-related hearing loss is common: About one-third of older adults have hearing loss, and the chance of developing hearing loss increases with age. Here are a few tips to make it easier to communicate with a person who may have difficulty hearing:
- Make sure your client can hear you. Ask if the client has a working hearing aid, look at the auditory canal for excess earwax, and be aware of background noises, such as whirring computers and office equipment.
- Talk clearly and in a normal tone. Shouting or speaking in a raised voice distorts language sounds and can give the impression of anger, and a high-pitched voice can be hard to hear.
- Face the person directly, at eye level, so that they can lip read or pick up visual clues.
- Indicate to your client when you are changing the subject, such as by pausing briefly, speaking a bit louder, gesturing toward what will be discussed, gently touching the client, or asking a question.
- Keep a notepad handy so you can write down important points, such as diagnoses, treatments, and important terms.
- Use amplification devices if they are available in your clinic or hospital.
If your client has difficulty hearing the difference between certain letters and numbers, give context for them. For instance, “m as in Mary” or “five, six” instead of “56.” Be especially careful with letters that sound alike.
Supporting Clients with Visual Impairments
According to the American Foundation for the Blind, 12.2% of Americans between the ages of 65-74 have some vision loss. This number jumps to 15.5% for Americans aged 74 and up.
Visual disorders become more common as people age. Here are some things you can do to help manage the difficulties in communication that can result from visual deficits:
- Make sure there is adequate lighting, including sufficient light on your face. Try to minimize glare.
- Check that your client has brought and is wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, if needed.
- Make sure that handwritten instructions are clear. When using printed materials, make sure the type is large enough (at least 14-point font) and the typeface is easy to read.
- If your client has trouble reading because of low vision, consider providing alternatives, such as audio instructions, large pictures or diagrams, and large pillboxes with raised markings.
Alliance Senior Care In-Home Care services supports caregivers and clients with In-Home Care for Geriatric Care and Specialized Care for elderly clients with more than one chronic health condition.
To get started with In-Home Care can help improve your loved ones’ quality of life, call Alliance Senior Care at 248-274-2170. It’s not just In-Home Care, it is Integrated Care.
Home Care Services are an excellent resource for family caregivers and seniors alike.
Alliance Senior Care Home Care services offer a wide range of services providing healthcare, daily living assistance, transportation to and from Doctor’s appointments and tailored care services for additional circumstances.