Whether your hearing aids are brand new and you’re still getting used to them, or you have a few hearing aid holidays under your belt, navigating the season with hearing aids can present some unique challenges. We have some tips to help you navigate, and some ideas for holiday hosts to help your friends and loved ones fully experience the joy of the season. Read on for our holidays with hearing aids tips and tricks.
Holidays with Hearing Aids: Host Ideas
Holiday parties and gatherings can be noisy, and if any of your guests wearing hearing aids, the noisy environment can be challenging for them to navigate and still feel like they’re part of the celebration. Make space for them and their unique needs! It can be a wonderful, much-appreciated gift.
- Seating – Consider a circular seating situation or a U-shape. Your hard of hearing guest will then have the benefit of using context clues such as facial expression and lip reading, helping them stay in the conversation.
- Music – Holiday music can certainly add a festive mood to your gathering, the volume of your party’s soundtrack can make it difficult for guests who wear hearing aids to hear and engage in conversation with other guests. Turn the volume down a bit, or turn the speakers away from the common areas.
- Dishes – Try environmentally-friendly paper plates and disposable utensils! That’s a win-win in my book: your hard of hearing guests won’t have to try to tune out the noise from clanging dishes and glassware, and you’ll significantly cut down on your clean up.
- Gathering Spaces – In a large room, as conversations get going, the noise level rises. Consider setting up alternative gathering places for quieter conversation. Noisy group conversations can be overwhelming, so setting up space for a more intimate conversation can give your hard of hearing and quieter guests a place to take a deep breath and engage.
- Acoustics – Curtains, carpets, and linens can help absorb the background noise. Consider some sound-dampening items to add to your décor.
Holidays with Hearing Aids: If you’re a Guest
If you wear hearing aids or are hard of hearing, large gatherings are undoubtedly fun, but can also be a source of frustration. You want to be involved, but it can be challenging to navigate in a noisy room. Here are a few tips for you!
- Let your host know – While letting your host know that you need a few accommodations may feel awkward, chances are they invited you because they want you there. When I host a gathering, I am happy to accommodate my guest’s unique needs, be it dietary, hearing or otherwise.
- Seek out a quieter space – Hopefully, your host has read this post and has already set up a quieter area, but if not, you can always ask where a good place would be to hold a more private, one-on-one or small group conversation.
- Pick a Friend -A friend who knows your hearing situation can be a lifeline in busy, noisy situations.
- Position Yourself – Our daughter has single-sided deafness, and one of her coping strategies is to physically position herself to where she can hear the best and stay in the conversation.
- Come Prepared – Get familiar with the settings on your hearing aid, bring extra hearing batteries, tubes, etc. so you are prepared for whatever happens!
Let’s Get You Ready
Hearing Resources Audiology Center offers comprehensive hearing care for adults and children in Portland, Oregon. Much more than hearing aids, we’re ready to help you reconnect with your world. Contact us today!