This Christmas we’ve got a few tips for how to make the Yuletide more joyful for those who have hearing loss.
First things first: If you own hearing aids, we strongly encourage you to wear them to your upcoming holiday events. We know that with all the noise, you’d think that hearing aids would just make carols and the crunching of candy canes louder. But modern digital hearing aids are more than simple sound amplifiers. They are designed to filter out unwanted noise and help you focus on speech, reduce background noise and cut back on distortion. So, remember to wear your hearing aids. Next, check out these tips for an even merrier Christmas.
Improve the sound around you
The sound environment has a great impact for people with hearing loss. Take the time to organize yourself, or ask others to help you do so, in the festive environment you’re in.
1. Find a quiet corner – Avoid standing too close to loudspeakers and noisy kitchens, and find the quietest area of the room. This way it’s easier to hear conversation rather than noise.
2. See as many faces as possible – Seeing the gestures and faces of the people speaking will help you lipread and understand what they are saying. Ensure good lighting, and remove decorations that prevent you from seeing the people around the table at dinner time.
3. Buddy up – Find a friend or relative who can repeat things you may not have understood, so you can feel more confident and included in the conversation.
Turn down background noise
Clink-clank… background noise makes it harder to hear, especially when there are lively conversations, carols and the sounds of rattling tableware. When the noise increases, we all talk louder, and the conversation volume quickly escalates. That makes the whole party noisier, which is a challenge if you have a hearing loss. So do this instead:
4. Turn down the volume of background music to make the general sound level as low as possible. Even though everyone loves a good Christmas carol, people won’t hear them when they’re having loud conversations.
5. Postpone dish duty – Ask your host to hold off on cleaning the dishes until everyone has left. For people with hearing loss, the clatter of kitchen dishes can distract from dinnertime conversation.
6. Turn off the TV – it distracts from the conversation and makes it harder to hear.
Help others help you
People around you may not always know how to help you in the best way – so ask for their help. Think about it: your host has cooked dinner and arranged everything in the hope of a pleasant and successful evening. Wouldn’t it be nice to help them by telling them your wishes for a nice dinner party, so that you all can enjoy a peaceful and pleasant Christmas?