For many people with hearing loss, the holidays can be especially challenging. While large family gatherings offer a wonderful opportunity to catch up with family and friends and family, holiday parties can be challenging for people with hearing loss.
Here are some tips for to better enjoy holiday gatherings:
- FIND A QUIET CORNER
Stand away from loudspeakers and noisy kitchens and position yourself in the quietest area of the room. This way you can hear conversation rather than noise.
- WEAR YOUR HEARING AIDS IF YOU HAVE THEM!
You may think that with so much background noise, hearing aids would just make things louder, but modern sophisticated technology helps focus amplification on speech sounds while filtering out unwanted noise, like the clanging of dishes in the kitchen, or background “cocktail party” conversation.
- ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES
Can help expand the functionality of your hearing aids in challenging listening environments. Remote Bluetooth microphones, FM systems, and even your iPhone paired to made-for-iPhone hearing aids can improve your ability to hear in noise or at a distance when used in conjunction with hearing aids.
- PICK YOUR SEAT
If you’re having a sit-down dinner, pick a seat at the center of the table nearest to a close friend or relative. This way you have a better chance of hearing conversation and enjoying your meal.
- HAVE THE “HEARING LOSS” CONVERSATION
Holiday gatherings are a good time to notice if a family member or friend seems to be withdrawing from conversation. If you think your loved one is having difficulty hearing, encourage them to schedule a hearing test and seek help. Treating hearing loss helps maintain social connections and good quality of life.
- HELP GUESTS WITH HEARING LOSS.
Consider turning down the background music. Hold off cleaning the dishes until your guests have left. For people with hearing loss, background noise makes it more difficult to carry on conversation.
- PRACTICE CLEAR COMMUNICATION
When speaking to someone with hearing loss. Speak clearly, do not cover your mouth or eat while speaking, face the person with hearing loss, and rephrase rather than repeat, if necessary. Rephrasing makes it easier for the individual with hearing difficulty to follow the conversation because it may be a particular word or sound of speech that they’re having trouble deciphering.