It’s the most wonderful time of the year – a time for us to gather with our loved ones to celebrate. For those of us who wear hearing aids, big gatherings, parties, and festivities could be overwhelming.
In larger gatherings, people with hearing loss may find that even with hearing aids, speech recognition is challenging. With multiple speakers and conversations happening all at once, it may be difficult to focus.
At the same time, hearing aids can come in handy for those of us with hearing loss. Here, we offer a few tips for making it through this holiday season stress-free.
If You Wear Hearing Aids to Treat a Hearing Loss[/x_custom_headline][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]New Technologies Can Help
Do your hearing aids offer wireless connectivity? If you’re not sure, check with us at Preferred Hearing Solutions.
Hearing aids that offer Bluetooth or wireless connectivity are able to connect to smartphones. Most hearing aid manufacturers offer a downloadable app that is compatible with their hearing aids, allowing wearers to activate features using their smartphones. For example, for extra amplification, you may activate your smartphone’s microphone to pick up sounds you want to hear, just by placing your smartphone near the source of sound. These sounds are then streamed wirelessly to your hearing aids.
[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Get a Hearing Aid Tune-Up
Before you head out for the holidays, come visit us at Preferred Hearing Solutions. We’ll give your hearing aids a tune-up and maintenance check, just to ensure everything is in proper working order.
Your hearing aids ensure that you are connected to the world around you. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries, if you plan to travel, as well as your cleaning supplies!
[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Notify Your Hosts
If you have specific accessibility needs, notify your hosts. They will be happy to factor in your needs when considering set-up and seating arrangements. Keep in mind that your hosts want to ensure that everyone has the best time this holiday season, so don’t feel as though you are imposing. [/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Pick a Quiet Location
At the holiday gathering, you may find yourself overwhelmed if there is too much going on. Between music and multiple speakers and conversations, you may struggle to have meaningful conversations. If this is the case, pick a quiet location in other room of the house to hang out in a smaller group or one-on-one. [/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Find a Dinner Buddy
If there’s no seating chart for the dinner table, pick a dinner buddy to sit next to, someone whom you understand clearly. This person can help you keep up in the conversation, and also fill you in if you’ve missed anything.
If You are Hosting a Holiday Party This Season[/x_custom_headline][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Check-in with Your Guests
As you’re getting ready for your party, contact your guests and ask them about their accessibility needs. Aside from dietary restrictions and physical accessibility, consider asking folks about hearing needs! This simple consideration will make their experience at your holiday party less stressful. [/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Consider Hearing-Friendly Set-Ups
People who experience hearing loss and use hearing aids may experience challenges at the dining table. With many speakers and conversations happening all at once, they may find it difficult to focus. One solution would be to use a circular table, if you have one. Circular tables make it easier for your hearing-impaired guests to read facial expressions and lips, if necessary. If you do not have a circular table, you may consider setting up several small tables in a circular or U-shaped formation.
Similarly, in setting up the general hang-out area for your guests, consider circular formations of chairs. Try to set up different clusters of chairs, to facilitate smaller group conversations. This will help your guests with hearing loss.
[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Turn Down the Volume
Music is an integral part of any festive celebration, but consider keeping the volume low. Loud music will interfere with conversation, adding another layer of difficulty for your guests with hearing loss. Even your guests with normal hearing will thank you, as they will not have to talk over music! Another tip is to turn the speakers away from areas where people gather.
If You are Interacting with Someone with Hearing Loss
Holiday gatherings tend to bring many generations together under one roof. Hearing loss is currently the third most common medical condition in the United States, affecting 33% of people age 65 and older, and 50% of people age 75 and older. Chances are, if you’ve got older family members, some of them are living with hearing loss.
Even with hearing aids, background noise in a festive environment could make it difficult for you to communicate. Try to be patient, repeat yourself clearly if necessary, and ask how you can make their experience easier. Hearing loss tends to have alienating affects – do what you can to keep your loved ones in the loop!
From all of us at Preferred Hearing Solutions, we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday and a happy new year!
“You don't have to struggle through another holiday season being unable to hear your loved ones. Start your journey to better hearing today.
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