Suffering From Hearing Loss During The Holidays
As many families plan for the upcoming holiday season, those with hearing loss may have additional anxiety and stress about attending any parties.
Knowing how to help your loved ones who experience hearing loss participate fully in social gatherings could mean the difference between everyone being included or feeling isolated.
To ensure all your guests have a positive holiday season this year, if you experience hearing loss or are looking to support your loved ones who do, consider the following advice.
1. Wear hearing aids
While this may seem like an obvious approach to improving your hearing, it’s important not to underestimate the impact hearing aids have on quality of life. Communicating with friends and family plays a key role in cultivating and strengthening healthy relationships.
This rings especially true around the holiday season when families are getting together in large groups to celebrate.
If you have difficulty hearing, and do not own hearing aids. The first step is to book a free hearing test to understand your hearing health. If you are a hearing aid wearer making use of hearing aids ensures you’ll be able to hear for the holidays. These small but effective devices allow people to remain socially engaged, feel a greater sense of safety and independence, as well as experience a higher degree of confidence.
2. Take advantage of technology
Like most things in the digital age, hearing aids have come a long way in terms of fit, appearance and technological capabilities. The majority of modern designs are virtually invisible, sitting discretely and comfortably inside the ear canal or over the ear.
This wide selection of choices allows people who experience hearing loss to find the best option possible for their lifestyle.
By having a concealed solution for hearing loss, those suffering are able to participate in holiday festivities without worrying about how they look and instead remain involved in the conversations.
Using the different digital solutions available means you’ll have an easier time laughing, joking and talking with your family and friends over the holiday.
In addition, some newer designs are both waterproof and rechargeable, ensuring they will last for the entire holiday party. With the introduction of Bluetooth, certain hearing aids are also able to connect with smartphones, home entertainment systems, and other electronics directly – at a volume that’s right for you.
This provides peace of mind for those suffering from hearing loss that they can participate in every social element offered at a party.
3. Reduce background noise
Although some hearing aids provide additional support when it comes to hearing the surrounding sound in any given room, minimizing the amount of background noise is still important.
When there are fewer competing sounds in a space – whether that be a TV, radio, other conversations happening, or even loud toys being used – it can make things easier for a person with hearing loss to understand what’s happening around them.
Just like when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone or focus on a specific piece of information, having fewer distractions makes it easier to understand. This then goes especially for anyone suffering from hearing loss.
It’s already difficult enough for these individuals to effectively hear what’s happening around them; any added noise or unnecessary sound will simply increase their discomfort and typically lead them to withdraw from conversations.
Help ensure everyone at your holiday gathering can hear for the holidays by reducing background noise, making it possible for them to carry on conversations with ease.
4. Don’t shout but be clear
Remember, when you’re dealing with someone who is experiencing hearing loss, the volume at which they hear doesn’t necessarily change. This is especially true if you’re already not being clear. In this case, shouting won’t necessarily help the situation since volume may not be the issue – how you’re saying something is.
Be sure to speak clearly when addressing anyone wearing a hearing aid or whom you know to be hard of hearing.
Keep in mind that yelling or shouting of any kind could draw the attention of those around you, causing the individual with hearing loss to feel self-conscious or embarrassed.
Consider instead facing the person directly while talking, ensuring they have the opportunity to read your lips if needed while also making it easier to confirm whether or not they heard you.
Another way to ensure someone can easily hear for the holidays is by asking them if the things you said made sense and then following up with any clarification that may be required. By adjusting your tone and pace of conversation, you’ll guarantee that every guest at the party feels comfortable and supported.
5. Be patient
When talking to someone who is deaf, hard of hearing, or wearing a hearing aid, a certain level of patience is required. If you are speaking to them in a loud or crowded room, then chances are that they may have difficulty understanding what you’re saying at first – especially if you have just met.
Even if they seem to carry themselves well, this individual may struggle daily with their hearing and might require a few extra moments to understand what you’ve said.
Giving them the time and space needed in order to process the conversation, and then formulate a reply, goes a long way toward establishing trust while ensuring the person feels safe and comfortable. Patience is one of the best gifts you can give someone who’s suffering from hearing problems.
6. Plan ahead
If you’re hosting a party this holiday season and know someone has a hard time hearing, consider taking the extra time to converse with them. Knowing in advance the different ways you can set up a party to ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable – hearing loss or not – will guarantee they all have a great time.
This includes keeping the music at a reasonable volume, making sure there’s a quiet area people can go to if needed and even offering to help set up an individual’s hearing device to the Bluetooth when they arrive.
Now, if you’re having hearing problems and choose to attend a holiday party, there are some steps you can take to make things easier through the evening.
First, check that your hearing aid batteries are full. There’s nothing worse than having your ears turned off in the middle of a great debate or when you’re listening to a child tell you all about their day.
If your hearing aids require charging, then be sure to charge them ahead of time. If you use replaceable batteries instead, always ensure you have extras with you or in your bag.
In order to help you hear for the holidays, Hearing Solutions offers a wide range of services – from hearing tests to financial assistance – to ensure you and your loved ones have access to the necessary hearing solutions this holiday season.
To learn more about how we can help you hear for the holidays, call us at 1-888-811-9799 to book your free hearing test.
ASHA – American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2019, January 17). Home for the Holidays: How To Help Loved Ones With Hearing Loss At Thanksgiving And Other Holiday Gatherings. ASHA. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.asha.org/news/2021/Home-for-the-Holidays-How-to-Help-Loved-Ones-With-Hearing-Loss-at-Thanksgiving-and-Other-Holiday-Gatherings/
Banks, R. (2020, December 14). The holiday season and your hearing. Canadian Hearing Services. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.chs.ca/blog/holiday-season-and-your-hearing
Hearing Solutions. (2019, December 20). Preparing for the Holidays: When a Guest Suffers from Hearing Loss … Hearing Solutions. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.hearingsolutions.ca/preparing-for-the-holidays-when-a-guest-suffers-from-hearing-loss/
Hearing Solutions. (2019, December 24). Suffering from Hearing Loss During the Holidays – Hearing Aid Service – hearingsolutions.ca. Hearing Solutions. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.hearingsolutions.ca/suffering-from-hearing-loss-during-the-holidays/