This is the fifth and final article in a series I am writing for Ida Institute on person-centered care. The first article was about what person-centered care means to me — the hearing loss patient. The second article discussed why partnering with your patient is so important. The third article described how to make your audiologist office hearing loss friendly. The fourth article talked about how important creativity is to successfully implementing person-centered care. This final article focuses on the importance of thinking outside the technology to enhance communication options for your patients.
An excerpt from the fifth article appears below. To read the full article, click here.
“Please face me when you talk to me,” I remind my family and friends. At dinner I might add, “Please let me sit in the corner so I can avoid the background noise.” The list goes on. While hearing aids and other assistive listening devices provide significant assistance, communication best practices are also critical — both for the people with hearing loss and their communication partners.
For years I was unaware of many of these communication tricks. My conversations with family, friends and co-workers would sometimes be stilted since I would hear only part of what they said. I would often try to fake it, or use context clues to keep the dialogue going, but it was exhausting and unsatisfying — for both sides. Sometimes I would simply withdraw in defeat, not knowing there were so many other things I could do besides wearing my hearing devices to help me hear better.
Over time, I learned tips and tricks from my hearing loss friends or through trial and error. Things like setting up the grounds rules for communication ahead of time when in a group or arriving early to a lecture to make sure I scored an advantageous seat — one with good sight lines to the primary speaker. I still wonder why I had to learn these tricks on my own rather than from my audiologist at the very start of my hearing loss journey. Person-centered care could have prevented years of unsatisfying conversations with loved ones and friends.
Click here to read the full article on Ida Institute and see what it means to think beyond the technology.
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