Each year, we travel to spend the Holidays with the ones we enjoy being around the most. The children play together while the adults sit around the table, sharing stories and laughter. We cherish these moments that connect and bring us together, but for those suffering from hearing loss, this can be a time of angst.
Thanksgiving dinners can be loud, with multiple conversations happening simultaneously. You can hear the sound of plates clinking around, silverware clinking, and the hum of the kitchen fan in the background.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss may hesitate to participate in group conversations due to concerns about mishearing or responding inappropriately. This can lead to feelings of isolation during a time meant for togetherness. We’ve created helpful tips to ensure everyone can fully participate and enjoy Thanksgiving.
Cut down on background noise: Competing noise from the TV, radio, kids, or other conversations can make it difficult for those with hearing loss to focus on what’s being said. Try to create a space that is further away from noise or a bit quieter than other locations to hold intimate conversations, allowing everyone to hear with more ease.
Take turns talking: It can be challenging to keep up with a conversation when many people are speaking at the same time. It’s essential to encourage everyone to take turns talking and be sure to face the person you are speaking to as well.
Speak clearly, but do not shout: Louder is not clearer, louder is just louder — and nobody cares to be yelled at when they’re trying to engage in conversation.
Strategic seat placement: Try to arrange the dinner table with conversation in mind. Seat those with hearing difficulty next to someone who can help keep them involved in the conversation and towards the center of the table so they have equal distance from most people around it.
Travel: Prepare an emergency kit for your hearing aids when traveling. Include spare batteries or chargers, a cleaning kit, and a dehumidifier to ensure they remain in good working condition.
Be patient: It’s important to remember not to get annoyed if someone asks you to repeat part of your conversation. Instead, try to rephrase what you said and continue the conversation with that person. It’s crucial to be patient and understanding when communicating with someone experiencing hearing loss. By doing so, you can ensure that everyone feels included and valued during the holiday season.
These tips can come in handy during the Thanksgiving dinner to ensure everyone can fully participate and enjoy the holiday season. It’s essential to understand the signs of hearing loss and know how to interact with those who suffer from it. By being patient and following the helpful tips, you can make it more enjoyable for everyone and more accessible to come together.
If you or someone you know is suffering from any degree of hearing loss, Salem Audiology Clinic can help support you in your journey this Holiday season. Call us today and get started on your path to better hearing. (971)701-6322