5 Smart Hearing Strategies for the Holidays
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Plan to arrive early
As one of the first guests, you have an opportunity to scope out the room and choose the best spot for you. Stand away from the center of the room and the source of music. Corners create a good barrier to noise on several sides. Avoid the kitchen and food areas that tend to be crowded and loud. At large parties, position yourself where you can best see the crowd and make eye contact with other guests. You can always find a quiet location and invite one-on-one conversation.
If you are hosting the holiday gathering, prepare as much of your holiday feast in advance and enlist guests to minimize last-minute prep. When you’re hovering over the stove with your back to guests, it’s hard to join in the conversation.
Choose the best seat at the table
Don’t miss out on conversations around the dinner table. Pick a seat that lets you see lips and expressions while people are speaking. A spot at the end of the table makes it is easier to focus on and hear the person with whom you are having a conversation. Often the best seat is the one beside a friend or loved one who can help fill you in on parts of the conversation you may miss.
Let other guests know you have a hearing loss. It’s tempting to nod and pretend you hear but people are usually happy to accommodate. Ask them to speak a little louder and clearer and to slow down a bit. Use simple visual cues like placing your hand to your ear to signal to the speaker to speak up or slow down.
Relax and enjoy yourself
Remember that even people without hearing loss may have trouble following conversations in noisy holiday settings. When you feel fatigue setting in, take short breaks to help you re-energize. Engage in activities you enjoy and don’t be afraid to say no to an activity that seems too stressful.
If you find you are struggling to hear despite careful planning, it may be time to schedule a hearing check-up. Expert hearing care and the right hearing solution can make future holidays a lot merrier for you and your loved ones.
Sound advice for supporting a loved one with hearing loss
Be an advocate for family members with hearing loss. Bring them into the conversation and help them feel they are part of celebration.
- Get their attention before you speak with a gentle touch or visual cue.
- Make sure they are sitting where they can easily see others.
- Choose a seat next to them and stay attentive so you can help if they’re having difficulty following conversation.
- Speak slowly and clearly but don’t shout. If you need to repeat, try rephrasing instead.
- Be patient and respectful. You’ll build their confidence and make the exchange more enjoyable for all.
Power up for uninterrupted enjoyment
Do you wear hearing aids? Before the party starts, insert fresh hearing aid batteries to ensure you won’t miss out on the holiday fun.
Also, if you are traveling to a holiday destination, pack your hearing aid charger or extra hearing aid batteries in your hand-held luggage. Even if your baggage goes missing, you won’t miss out on the holiday fun!
If you don’t wear hearing aids and think you might have hearing loss, you can book a free, no obligation hearing appointment here or call 1-866-376-8023.
CARP members save additional 10% off the regular price or limited-time promotional price of select hearing aids sold at HearingLife and our national affiliated partners, proud sponsors of the Campaign for Better Hearing, and earn up to 2,000 AIR MILES® reward miles with their purchase!