1. Be Patient- Remember that a person who is beginning to suffer hearing loss is like a child beginning to talk, listen, and understand. All conditions of communication are changing.
2. Accept Reality- It changes both of your lives and introduces new elements in your relationship. It isn't going to go away. Reconcile yourself to the fact of your spouse's loss as you would to the loss of a child's arm. It doesn't change your spouse, the one you have learned to live with.
3. Speak Slowly- Consider what it's like for you when you listen to a newscaster on television who rushes through lines, especially when statistics are being quoted.
4. Don't Shout- It doesn't help, and may give the impression that you are angry. Learn to speak distinctly. Careful enunciation is a useful habit to cultivate anyway.
5. You May Recall the Famous Line In A Broadway Play "You Know I Can't Hear When The Water's Running." Adapt it to include, while the television is on, when the washing machine or the dishwasher is running, or when someone in the room is carrying on an animated conversation on the telephone. People with hearing loss find it hard to block out sounds while they are straining to hear your words.
6. Don't Talk With Your Back To People With Hearing Loss- Even if they can't read your lips accurately when you face them, they will get a better sense of what you are saying.
7. Don't Start Walking away While You Are Still Talking- Your words will come out as "I'm going to see if ..." Frustrating, isn't it!!!
8. Agree on a Signal That You Can Use In Company When Your Hard of Hearing Spouse Is Talking Too Loud- People with hearing loss often cannot hear their own voices well enough to judge their loudness.
9. Have a Heart- Hearing loss is worse for the afflicted person than for anyone else. Consider that you may also have to learn to live with your own hearing loss someday. That's one of the prices we pay in this century for living beyond the biblical three score and ten.
10. Don't Show Annoyance- Because You Must Repeat Or Because The Hard Of Hearing Person Seems To Have Forgotten Something Said A Few Moments Ago. He or she probably did not hear you the first time.