Although December is a wonderful month to spend time with loved ones, people who are hard of hearing may have some uneasiness due to the increased noise levels associated with visits, parties, and celebrations.
Here are some tips for those who are hard of hearing or who will be hosting family members who have hearing impairments during the holidays.
Comprehending the Hearing Loss Experience
Many people across the US have some degree of hearing loss at some point in their lives. Hearing-impaired individuals may have trouble following conversations, especially in loud settings. As a result of experiencing these symptoms, many who are hard of hearing resort to the following inefficient methods of expression:
- Constantly asking the speaker to repeat themselves or to speak more loudly and slowly
- Making an effort to decipher what was said by reading the speaker’s lips after a misunderstanding
- Putting up an act as if they can hear and understand what is being said
These schemes may get in the way of being able to communicate effectively. Therefore, they may feel like they are expending too much effort whenever they attempt to carry on a conversation.
Misunderstanding or just partially catching on to what is being said are common results, which can leave participants in the conversations confused or unable to engage. As a result, there are a number of ways in which strained communication may affect relationships:
- There is a dramatic decline in both the quality and duration of conversations
- Conflict develops when individuals feel their needs and concerns are being dismissed.
- Favorite pastimes lose some of their luster.
- Subtleties like inside jokes, intimacy, and informal small conversation are stifled by language barriers.
In the spirit of the Christmas season, when families and friends get together, here are some suggestions for making everyone feel welcome and at home.
In case you are planning a holiday gathering for someone who has trouble hearing…
The position of a host is a challenging one. Taking care of a large group of people, and making sure they are all having a nice time requires a lot of effort. If you have someone with hearing loss coming over:
Find out whether any special accommodations are required.
Inquiring about conveniences that can help ease your guests’ interactions at a dinner party never hurts.
Reduce the volume.
Those with hearing impairments may have difficulty understanding what others are saying if they are subjected to loud music while eating or having a conversation. Make an attempt to keep the noise level down. Another tip is to point the speakers out of the room so that the music does not blast directly into the areas where your guests are socializing.
Make additional private spaces for talking.
If you are hosting a big gathering at your place, create spaces where people can engage in more intimate interactions. Conversations in smaller groups may be easier for those who are hard of hearing if they take place in a less noisy setting.
Try to have more one-on-one conversations.
You are well aware of the challenges associated with maintaining conversational clarity in noisy environments with many potential speakers. Even with hearing aids, background noise might make it difficult to follow a conversation with many participants. Instead, choose a quieter spot to have private chats. If you want to have a more productive conversation, choose a place in the house where you can face a wall and reduce or eliminate any outside noise.