How to Make this Year’s Holiday Dinner Hearing Loss Friendly
At the center of every holiday celebration is the traditional family meal. But for those suffering from hearing loss, the issues presented can seem so difficult and stressful that they may avoid them and miss out on the festivities. Large gatherings and meals can be stressful for everyone involved; adding hearing loss to the equation can exacerbate the situation. While this can seem like a daunting problem to solve, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your holiday meal is hearing loss-friendly.
How to Make Your Holiday Meal Hearing Loss-Friendly
One very popular technique is to break up the party space with different activities in different places to help break up the background noise. Many people in a confined area, talking loudly can quickly overwhelm a hearing aid and leave the wearer feeling isolated. Even having a designated quiet spot can provide a break to those who need to rest their ears.
Dim lighting in the evening can be a great way to show off lighted decorations; however, for those who may rely on reading lips to assist in communication, it can end up becoming a huge barrier. Ensure to keep the lights up or at least have a brightly lit area if you are hosting any guests who suffer from hearing loss.
While music is a big part of the holidays, having the volume up too high or playing close to socializing areas can overwhelm many hearing aid devices and render them almost useless. Keep the volume low, or if you can, move the music to a spot out of the way in another area.
Speeches, toasts, and dedications are another long-lived holiday tradition. While a small gathering shouldn’t present any issues, a larger crowd may need some form of amplification, such as a microphone and speaker or t-coil portable hearing loop.
In the end, the holidays are all about togetherness; it’s the little things that count, and taking the extra steps can go a long way to make sure everyone feels included. Communication and accommodation are the real keys to having a hearing loss-friendly holiday meal.