Many parents and grandparents in assisted living centers or hospitals often depend on their loved ones to help advocate for their needs and help make sure they can hear their doctors and nurses. With the current isolation, patients are experiencing increased confusion and fear when they cannot clearly hear what medical staff and caregivers are communicating. Patients have the right to understand treatment plans and communicate their personal and medical needs to caregivers.
- If possible, a consultation online or via phone can help keep family members and medical professionals on the same page with what is being communicated, while providing those hard of hearing with additional support.
- Keep in mind that not hearing clearly is frustrating in itself. Not having family close by during a health pandemic adds to that frustration and confusion. Allow extra time to make sure everything is understood, and be patient and willing to rephrase or simplify as needed.
- With the added anxiety of being quarantined, it is increasingly important to verify what was heard by asking those hard of hearing to repeat it back to you. This can help alleviate any stress or fear that they misheard or missed important information.
Additionally, it is critical to make sure all caregivers, nurses and doctors are aware of the hearing difficulty. Michigan Avenue’s Hard of Hearing Sign below can be posted on any door or at any bedside as a friendly reminder.