Hearing Devices and the Holidays
Hearing loss can be even more challenging to deal with during the holiday season, when socializing is at a maximum. Even with hearing aids on, having a pleasant experience during the holidays depends on a few factors. Here are a few useful measures that can help you have a wonderful holiday experience, whether you are the host or a guest with hearing loss.
If you are hosting a party during the holiday season, think about organizing the seating arrangement at the dinner table or living room in a circular manner. Having a circular table or setting sofas in a U shape can help you get better visual coverage of all the guests which enables you to pick up on more non-verbal body language. Being able to see everyone clearly works to your advantage and helps you become an active participant since you do not need to rely solely on verbal communication anymore. In addition to the shape of the seating, think about keeping your seating areas well-lit so that you have no trouble seeing your guests properly. Mood lighting such as dim lights or candles may not be a good idea in this particular case.
When you consider putting on some festive music in the background to set the mood, make sure you keep the volume low. This will work to your benefit since it will enable you to hear the guests properly. Even with hearing aids on, it can become quite overwhelming to focus on conversations and the music at the same time. This is why it is prudent to keep extraneous distractions to a minimum, enabling you to have more comfortable conversations. You can also consider turning the speakers of your music system away from areas where conversations would be taking place, so that the major blast of music is spread out elsewhere.
Make full use of your home by arranging seating arrangements throughout the house so that you do not overcrowd any particular space. Usually, the most crowded areas are the living rooms and the dining rooms, so set up alternative seating arrangements in other areas of the house. In this manner you will not be overwhelmed by having too many conversations taking place at one time.
For small gatherings, consider using disposable cutlery, cups and plates to make cleaning up a breeze afterwards. Furthermore, disposable cutlery spares you the uncomfortable, shrill sound of forks and knives clanking on china which can make it additionally difficult to hear.
When it comes to entertainment, board games such as monopoly or scrabble are a great option for people wearing hearing aids. This is because most of the information is printed on cards or the boards and very little information is verbal.
If you are a guest with hearing loss and are thinking of attending a party, talk to your host beforehand to let them know what your specific hearing needs are. This way your host will have enough time to accommodate their surroundings accordingly.
During the party give your ears a rest from time to time by finding a quiet spot. Sit at a location that is fairly isolated so that you can concentrate on the conversations you are having. Sitting in quiet locations minimizes distractions and extraneous noises that make it difficult to hear.
At the dinner table you can ask someone you feel comfortable with and can understand clearly to help you out with your hearing requirements. This could mean helping you keep up with the multiple conversations at the dinner table, or deciphering some parts of other conversations that you had trouble hearing.
People who can hear better with one of their ears than the other can sit with that ear facing forwards during conversations. This way you will have a better chance of hearing things more clearly. Positioning yourself is a huge factor when it comes to successful communication. Make sure you are facing your speaker directly and are also positioned far away from background noise. Hopefully these suggestions will help you enjoy your holiday season and have a blast at all your parties.