Tips for better hearing during the Holidays

The holidays will be here before you know it. One of the joys of the holidays is spending time with extended family. These multi generational gatherings can be challenging for those with hearing loss. Here are some tips to make communicating more effective.

  • Encourage use of hearing aids.
  • Never try to talk from another room.
  • Get the person’s attention before speaking to him/her.
  • Face the person, when speaking and slow your rate of speech down slightly.
  • When having a conversation and during meals, turn off the TV or music. While holiday music is nice, it can also be distracting from conversation.
  • Turn lights up during meals. Candles or dim lighting may add ambiance, but it makes it more difficult to read visual cues. People with hearing loss fill in the blanks by watching mouths and facial expressions.
  • When making seating arrangements, put the person with hearing loss at the middle of the table, rather than at one end, away from most talkers.
  • Young children can be more difficult to understand because of the high pitch of their voices and misarticulations. Sometimes you can give the hearing impaired person a head start by leading into the conversation. For instance, you might say, “Sara wants to show you her new doll named Patty.”
  • Be patient and encourage them to participate…
  • …yet offer a “Quiet Zone” where they can get away for a break.

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