The holidays with family is often times a busy season with lots of guests, dinners and plenty of parties. For those with hearing loss, it can be a challenge navigating noisy dinner parties, lots of background music and bigger crowds.
To help your loved ones make the most of your holiday season, here are some tips to make those with hearing loss feel more welcome in your home.
- Be attentive: Often times a busy conversation with multiple people can be a challenge to follow. Someone with hearing loss can easily miss the first part of a question, so stay vigilant and try to bring them back in the conversation by repeating a question or statement.
- Turn down the volume: Loud background music or the roar of the TV can confuse hearing aid microphones, making it difficult to separate the voice you want to listen to. Consider keeping the music and television off during mealtime.
- Keep the room well lit: Providing good lighting will make it easier for those with hearing loss to see facial expressions and the mouths of those speaking.
- Speak clearly: Do your best to speak slowly and at a comfortable volume without mumbling or slurring your words. Project your voice, but don’t shout.
- Face the person: Facing the person you are speaking with makes it easier for them to hear the words but also to see your mouth and facial expressions. It’s also a good idea to get their attention before speaking by saying their name or gently touching their hand, arm, or shoulder.
- Stay close: When you’re not sitting around the dinner table, be sure to stay close to those with hearing loss when speaking to them. It is much more difficult to hear someone from across the room and harder to see their mouth and facial expressions.
- Seat them next to someone who will be a patient advocate: Some people are just good at being aware of others’ needs and empathizing. If someone you love is struggling with hearing loss, try to pair them at the dinner table with someone who will be proactive in making sure they’re following the conversation and patient if they need things repeated or rephrased.
From all of us at Avalon Hearing, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!