Make your home more welcoming for guests with hearing loss using these suggestions.
When welcoming people into your home, you want to be a kind and gracious host to all. If you’re inviting guests who have hearing loss, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile and make sure your home is comfortable and welcoming.
In this post, we’ll go over accommodation tips for guests with hearing loss and how you can make guests feel welcome at your home, whether they’re staying for a few hours or a few days!
Decrease background noise
Minimize any unnecessary background noise such as the television or radio playing. Some people enjoy white noise as they go about their days, but for those with hearing loss, it can be confusing trying to filter out background sounds while having a conversation.
Additionally, ask others in the house to be mindful of music and other noises coming from their rooms. To the extent possible, try to minimize distracting noises in your house’s immediate vicinity, such as a lawnmower or leaf blower outside.
Arrange seating & lighting accordingly
Before your guest arrives, take a look at how the furniture in your living room or family room is configured and see if you can make any simple, temporary adjustments to allow for easier conversations.
While you’re at it, consider adding an extra table or floor lamp (and perhaps fitted with some higher wattage light bulbs) wherever your guests typically congregate. People with hearing loss sometimes rely on lip-reading or facial cues to better understand what’s being said, so a bit of added brightness can help make it easier for them to participate in conversations.
Check your tech
Do you have a movie night planned while your guests are in town? Or perhaps you’re having people over to watch a sporting event? Whatever the reason, if you plan on watching TV or movies with your houseguests, figure out how to turn on closed captioning ahead of time so they’re ready to go when you’re ready to watch.
If your guests are staying overnight and they use assistive listening devices or hearing aids, check that the room or space they’re staying in has access to outlets for charging.
If your houseguests bring any special items such as a bed-shaking alarm clock, hearing aid dryers, or sound-amplifying speakers, make sure you have enough space to accommodate them and perhaps even have extra batteries on hand.
While talking with your guest, position yourself so you’re facing them, and, if their hearing loss is less significant in one year, make sure you speak in that direction. If you need to repeat yourself, don’t shout. Instead, try rephrasing your statement or question using different words.
When in doubt, ask!
The most important thing you can do to make your guests feel welcome at your home is to ask about their preferences and how you can make their visit as pleasant as possible. Guests will likely be happy to share their communication preferences and other ways that you can help make them feel right at home!
For more tips on accommodating guests with hearing loss, check out our articles on hosting hearing loss-friendly holiday parties.