For people who have hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be a challenge. Not only do several people often talk at the same time in these situations, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over one another.
It becomes even more difficult for people who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. If you have difficulty hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are several steps you can take to make these big, noisy gatherings 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 loss 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 everybody even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
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 won’t 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 loved ones your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise poses a major challenge for individuals with hearing loss because it is hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Think About New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful solutions if you don’t already have them. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by turning away from it and amplifying the voices you want to hear to make out a conversation.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your family will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you inform them. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your family will be glad to help out.