For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. Everybody is conversing loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is difficult for people with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. If you have a hard time hearing from one or both ears, or you use a hearing aid, there are several steps you can take to make these big, noisy meals more enjoyable for you and your family.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Talk With Your Family
Before everyone gets together, it’s essential that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing impairment with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal much more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Family tradition might stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table at big meals, but those places make it harder for you to hear conversations. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your family your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it an especially challenging problem. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, consider purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by turning away from it with these technologies.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be happy to give you a hand.