Skip to content
Sponsored Content

Interested in volunteering with seniors? 5 tips for smoother communication

Kim Galick volunteers at the Langley Senior Resource Society, where she offers hearing aid servicing

Volunteering with seniors can be incredibly rewarding — it’s a chance to exchange knowledge, trade life experiences, bond over shared passions and trade a few laughs too.

“Volunteering is a wonderful way to feel more connected to my community, and I’m happy to share any knowledge that others may find useful,” says Kim Galick, owner of Ears Hearing Clinic in Langley.

Kim has spent years volunteering at the Langley Senior Resource Society — once a month she offers maintenance and cleaning to Senior Centre members who need to have their hearing aids serviced. Before the pandemic, she also regularly offered ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions where she provided lunch and shared her valuable knowledge about various aspects of hearing loss.

Everyone has skills they could share with the community through volunteering. Like Kim, you may be able to offer services related to your profession. You could also offer something more simple like companionship, conversation or physical help with daily chores. Regardless of how you choose to volunteer, a little preparation can make the experience much more rewarding.

Tips for communicating with someone with hearing loss

  • Ask: When you meet someone new while volunteering with seniors, ask if they have hearing loss or use hearing aids. They may have advice about how you should communicate with them. Check in regularly to ensure they can hear you properly.

  • Use names: Before launching into a long story or set of instructions, get the attention of a person with hearing loss by using their name. It’s a lot easier to hear when we can see the person speaking to us, and know which sounds to pay attention to.
  • Use amplification: If you’re speaking to a group and there is a microphone or sound system available, use it! Sometimes presenters feel uncomfortable using a microphone, but among those with hearing loss, putting in the effort can make a big difference.
  • Create the right environment: If you’re communicating one-on-one with someone who you know has hearing loss, set the scene to improve comprehension. Move to a quiet place with less background noise. Ensure you’re well-lit so the listener can see your face — expressions and lip reading are part of comprehension too! If you know the person you’re working with needs hearing aids or glasses, make sure they’re wearing them.
  • Rephrase, don’t repeat: “If the person you’re speaking to doesn’t understand what you’re saying, use different words to communicate the same idea. Sometimes adding more context can help,” Kim says.

For a free hearing consultation and more hearing advice, call Kim Galick at Ears Hearing Clinic, 604-427-2828 or email Find Ears Hearing at Unit C 20568 56 Ave. in Langley, online at and on Facebook.