The holidays are a wonderful time of year to celebrate with your friends and family, eat delicious dinners and attend holiday parties. It’s also a chance to dress up, decorate the house and participate in the joy and happiness that comes with the season.
However, for some, the holidays can often be a frustrating time filled with social anxiety and isolation. It’s hard to participate in the festivities and be included in the conversation if you can’t hear what’s being said.
The loss of hearing can impact the emotional well-being of a person during any point of the year, but during the holiday season, these feelings only get worse and often make them feel left out.
In this blog post, we’re going to explore how to improve holiday experiences if you are experiencing hearing loss, or how you can help loved ones with hearing loss.
1. Find Other Ways To Call Home
During the holidays it’s nice to call and catch up with your friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe they’re away at varsity, moved to a different city, or perhaps you just haven’t had the time.
Phone calls can often be a difficult option for those who are hard of hearing. This is why it’s a good idea to try other ways of calling your friends and family.
Video chat is a great option since it allows the person who is hard of hearing to lip read and see expressions. With Facetime, Facebook video calling, Zoom, Skype and even WhatsApp, the person can amplify the sound on the device to hear what the other person is saying much easier.
2. Be Honest
When talking to relatives and friends at parties and family gatherings, it may be tempting to nod along with everything they’re saying – even if you can’t hear them properly.
You might find the need to laugh along with others even though you couldn’t hear the joke and react to stories in the same way as those around you. This can be risky, especially if it ends with somebody asking you a question.
Being honest about your hearing will make your time at these events easier.
Be brave and let the person you are conversing with know you cannot hear them well. You can also give them visual clues to help indicate that you can’t hear. For example, you could cup your ear with your hand which will help them know that they will need to speak louder.
3. Choose Your Position Carefully
If you’re attending a cocktail party or an event where the noise levels might be high, here are a few tips to help you with your evening:
- Try to find a quiet area away from the music so you can talk to people easier
- Try to find areas with less people passing by, so you can easily lip-read
- Go to places with good lighting so you can lip-read and see the expressions on people’s faces
- If the party you’re attending has multiple rooms, try to situate yourself in the quietest one and ask your friends to join you
If you’re going to a seated dinner at your relative’s house or are invited to a dinner party, you might be worried about being heard over the table. Here are a few tips to help you go about your evening.
- If you’d like to talk to somebody, move closer to them so you can talk
- Ask somebody to continue the conversation with you when you have a chance to be closer
- Sit next to the people you would like to converse with most
- Try to sit with the wall to your back to help drown out any background noise if you are not wearing a hearing aid
- If you are wearing a hearing aid, place your back to the noise
- If there’s music playing, ask the host if it can be lowered so you can hear better
4. Take A Break
Don’t be scared to take a break from the party. Your ears and mind will need a rest after a lot of conversation, so head to a quiet area or the restroom to take a moment for yourself.
A break will help you recharge and give you the energy needed for another round of socializing so you can enjoy every moment of the party.
We hope our list of hearing loss communication tips will help you and your loved ones with your holiday celebrations this year. Everybody deserves to enjoy the festive season and have fun with their friends and family and hearing loss shouldn’t stop you from enjoying yourself.
If you’re concerned about your hearing or think you might need a hearing device, get your hearing tested before the busy holiday season begins. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.