Hints for enjoying festivities during this wonderful time of the year.
For many, holiday gatherings are among the most joyous times to be with family and friends. While partaking in festivities can be a fun way to reconnect with loved ones, the abundance of noise and commotion can be challenging if you experience hearing loss. Here are seven tips for navigating holiday gatherings with hearing loss to help you enjoy the most wonderful time of the year:
- Request accommodations ahead of time
- Find quieter areas for conversations
- Reduce background noises
- Consider assistive listening devices
- Choose a partner
- Don’t fake it
- Take a break
Keep reading below to learn more about how to handle the holidays with hearing loss.
1. Request accommodations ahead of time
Don’t be afraid to ask your party hosts about special accommodations that will make it easier for you to interact with others before the holiday gathering. A seat at the table with your back to a wall, adequate lighting to see facial cues or rely on lip reading, or eliminating background music are a few of the ways your host can help ensure you have a positive listening environment.
Pass along these holiday tips for communicating with people with hearing loss to your loved ones for additional ways they can help make the most of your time together.
2. Find quieter areas for conversations
If you’re at a holiday party where everyone is mingling, consider moving your conversations to a quieter space to connect with the other guests. Having a one-on-one chat is often more comfortable for people with hearing loss than communicating in a larger group setting, so don’t hesitate to ask to move your conversation to a quieter area.
3. Reduce background noises
If the background music, television, or other noises make it difficult to understand the conversations around you, try lowering the volume or eliminate background sounds entirely. Reducing or eliminating excess background noises can help make it easier to focus on those around you.
4. Consider assistive listening devices
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) can be a helpful option for lively holiday gatherings. If you have a hearing aid, be sure the batteries are fresh, and your device is working properly to avoid static and other interference. A personal amplifier or neck loop may help isolate specific voices, making conversations easier to follow. You can also opt for an FM system or other ALD to further enhance your listening capabilities in loud environments.
Discover how to get the most out of your assistive listening device here.
5. Choose a partner
In a dinner setting, try and sit next to a friend or family member who is willing to assist you by repeating words if necessary. Having a trusted partner nearby can help fill in the gaps in the conversation to help you feel more confident and able to speak more naturally with the other guests at the table.
6. Don’t fake it
It may be tempting to pretend you can hear every word during conversations, but avoid faking it. The gathering will likely be more enjoyable if you are honest when you need someone to repeat themselves or speak more clearly. Go easy on yourself, and keep in mind that even people without hearing loss can have a hard time following conversations in bustling holiday settings.
7. Take a break
Our last tip for how to handle the holidays with hearing loss is to take a break if you feel overwhelmed by the festivities. Step outside, stop by the restroom, or find a spot in a quieter room to unwind and refresh for a few minutes. You can then re-enter the gathering when you feel ready to socialize again.
These tips for navigating holiday gatherings with hearing loss can make it easier to enjoy this festive time of year with family and friends. Find other holiday hearing loss tips that can help you make the most of this magical season.
For more advice on living with hearing loss, keep reading our blog.