Keep these tips in mind to help your loved one stay involved in the celebrations:
- Seek out quiet areas for one-on-one conversations – No doubt about it, the kitchen is an exciting place to be as the meal is cooking, sauce needs stirring, and dishes are clanking. The living room can be a fun spot for cheering your favorite sports team. However, it can be difficult for a person with hearing loss to keep track of all the conversations. If you are hosting a party, facilitate quiet areas for intimate discussions. If you are a guest, ask your conversation partner to move to a less noisy area to continue your chat.
- Sit in the best seat at the table – Background noise can make it even more difficult for listening to conversations. Sitting away from the kitchen can cut down the background noise. Also, being able to face the majority of the guests makes reading lips a little easier along with keeping your back to the wall.
- Keep the room bright and well lit – Eating by candlelight can make the atmosphere cozy, but it makes lip-reading and picking up on visual cues harder. Keep the lights turned up and pull the shade to avoid any glare coming from windows and also so faces can be seen.
- Pay attention to your guests – If you notice that Aunt has stopped interacting with other guests, find a way to bring her back into the conversation. Others will take your lead when you:
- Keep the TV low or turn down loud music
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Face the person when speaking to them
- Be patient and repeat as needed
- Invite a one-on-one chat in a quiet corner
- Find a buddy for your favorite loved one with hearing loss– Look for someone who is sensitive and has a soft spot for your guest and willing to fill in any missed conversations.
Enjoy the Holidays Despite Hearing Loss
If you or your loved one is currently wearing hearing aids, come in to the clinic to have them serviced and ensure they are working properly. The staff at Rocky Mountain Audiology can check microphones and receivers for signs of blockage, replace wax guards, domes, and perform any minor repairs or programming adjustments needed. It is suggested to come in a couple of weeks prior to holidays in case your hearing instrument needs to be sent out for servicing.
The holidays will serve as a great reminder for your annual hearing test. Hearing loss can be progressive and your current hearing aids may need to be reprogrammed if your hearing has changed over the year. This will ensure that you will hear to the best of your ability.
If you or your loved one may have hearing loss but are not wearing hearing aids, this may be an appropriate time to address this issue. Give the gift of hearing this Christmas!
Keep your loved one engaged through the holidays with a little preparation and sensitivity. There is no reason to be lonely in the middle of a crowd. If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, visit us at Rocky Mountain Audiology to get the assistance you need to continue enjoying the holiday festivities. As always if you have questions give us a call to ask Dr. Daria!