Back-and-forth conversations across a crowded holiday dinner table can be considered difficult for just about everyone, especially for guests contending with hearing loss. But these are the moments we treasure and remember, like Uncle Frank blessing us with his fly fishing story for the 11th time since he arrived.
There is no reason for anyone to be left out of holiday meal discussions this time of year. Here are six quick tips to help navigate holiday conversations to ensure loved ones with hearing loss are included:
- Hand over the remote. Turn down, or better yet, turn off, the TV. The game can wait, and music can be kept to a low during holiday meals. And there’s only so much Bublé someone can watch.
- Choose your seat (and a buddy) wisely. Does nephew Billy have impeccable hearing and a knack for being aware of relatives’ needs? Stick to him like glue during your next holiday party. Hearing Loss Magazine recommends that if you have “a better side” when it comes to hearing (not family photos), seat yourself at the table so that most people are on that side. A family member or friend can help you navigate unclear conversations, and sitting uncomfortably close to each other makes for great bonding time (if you like that sort of thing that is…).
- Speak clearly. If you’re trying to help make a guest with hearing loss feel more included in the conversation, speak clearly. Projecting your voice clearly and not mumbling is not only a way for you to confidently get your point across the dinner table, but a way to be confident all guests can hear your thoughts on the upcoming royal wedding.
- Use visual cues. Offer family and friends simple visual hints during a conversation, like placing your hand to your ear (as in, say what?). It doesn’t disrupt the conversation flow, and you’re signaling to the speaker that you want to hear what they have to say (everyone likes to feel important).
- Ask for a recap. Remember nephew Billy from tip #1? When conversations flow quickly, or are derailed when interrupted, they have the tendency to leave guests with hearing loss in the dust. Your buddy can help rephrase or rehash any details you may have missed.
- Be aware of your surroundings. It’s important to also be aware of other guests at the table who may also have hearing loss – they’ll often be the quiet ones who appreciate being included in the conversation.
No man is an island, and hearing loss can affect the entire family – even during the holidays. Our insanely comfortable, virtually invisible devices can help you discreetly enhance your mild to moderate, high frequency hearing loss. Our team of personal hearing guides are all ears at 1-800-734-7603 to help get your ears dressed for their next holiday party.