You’ve finalized the menu and guest list, but have you figured out how to help loved ones with hearing loss have a fun and festive time?
Bringing comfort and joy to those guests is easier than you think—follow these tips for a happy holiday that’s also hearing-loss-friendly.
Make It a Multi-Room Event
By spreading out the get-together, you can create different noise zones. For example, designate a space for football fans to cheer on their team together or consider creating a playroom area for the kids to congregate. For guests with hearing loss, make sure quieter spaces are available for talking one-on-one and catching up in small groups.
Create a Seating Chart
Seat loved ones wearing hearing devices as far away from the kitchen as possible, where loud bangs and clangs can occur during meal prep and serving. Their location should also let them see everyone’s faces to help with reading lips and following conversations, so place them at the end of the table. Dining at a round table? Every seat is a good one for people with hearing loss.
Design the Perfect Dining Experience
Having clear sightlines, minimal background noise and ample lighting will allow guests with hearing loss to see and hear more, as well as use techniques like lip-reading. You’ll also want to lower the music volume, switch off the TV and remove any visible obstructions from the table, like tall centerpieces or candles, before mealtime. And always turn on extra lights to make the season bright, as dim lighting makes it hard for your guests to follow and fully participate in family conversations.
Pay Extra Attention
Hosting can be time-consuming, but try to keep tabs on your guests with hearing loss. Take a moment to chat with them or encourage other family members to do so, preferably in a quiet place.
Support Them After Dinner’s Done
Accommodating the unique needs of holiday guests with hearing loss is a hallmark of a great host. But after the party’s over, you may want to provide additional support, particularly if your friend or family member is living with untreated hearing loss.
The best thing you can do is get together with them at a later date to discuss their hearing loss and encourage them to seek help from a trusted audiology practice.
Although this conversation may be difficult at first, it’s an important one to have. Here are ways to make it easier:
- Choose a quiet location so your loved one can hear you.
- Let them know what you’ve observed in terms of how their hearing loss affects their life.
- Discuss how hearing devices will improve their life, allowing them to stay better connected to others.
- Offer to go with them to their initial hearing evaluation and provide support.
Letting them know how much you care about them and their well-being will go a long way toward inspiring them to get started on their journey to better hearing.
Looking for a top-notch audiology practice for your friend or family member—or even yourself? Advanced Audiology & Hearing Aids takes a holistic, patient-first approach to care, with many of our patients seeing us not only as doctors but also as friends and advocates. Schedule an evaluation with our expert team now by calling (318) 251-1572 (Ruston) or (318) 582-5317 (West Monroe).
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