Hearing Loss and Thanksgiving

Hearing Loss and Thanksgiving: How to Handle Impaired Hearing and Thanksgiving

Getting together with friends and family, and enjoying their company over delicious food, makes Thanksgiving the perfect holiday to reconnect with your loved ones. For many, Thanksgiving is typically a joyous time, but this may not necessarily be the case for those who suffer from impaired hearing. In fact, Thanksgiving can quickly become taxing and overwhelming to a person with impaired hearing or hearing loss. It doesn’t matter their degree of hearing loss; holidays can be challenging for someone with impaired hearing, as they run the risk of making a person feel disconnected and alienated. Luckily, there are ways to successfully handle hearing loss and Thanksgiving with the right know-how and preparation.

If you or your guest(s) suffer from hearing loss, you can successfully manage hearing loss and Thanksgiving with our helpful guidelines below.

1. If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year and have a deaf or hard of hearing guest, be mindful of where they will sit at the dinner table. It doesn’t matter if you have assigned seating or you allow people to pick their own seat, aim to have them sit in the middle of the table, preferably with a wall behind them. Placing them center, sitting in front of a wall can help them decipher conversations since the sound will be able to bounce off. If they are deaf, make sure there is enough lighting for them to be able to see another person’s mouth so they can lip read.
2. Have hearing loss and will be a guest at someone else’s home? Be mindful of where you stand and sit throughout the day. Steer clear of sitting or standing near a radio, speakers, and the television. Having an extra source of sound in your ear will make it difficult to participate in conversations. Avoiding walkways and doorways are also important and aim to sit in a location where you can face people, preferably against a wall.
3. If you have hearing aids, don’t leave them at home. Instead, wear your hearing aid-even if you are embarrassed (which you shouldn’t be!). While some people have mixed feelings about hearing aids, they are designed to help you hear, so wear them. You will have an easier item interacting with the people around you and are less likely to feel isolated and left out. If your hearing aids are not a source of embarrassment, but you are experiencing comfort issues when wearing them, be sure to contact your hearing healthcare professional to reach a solution.
4. Listening and deciphering conversations can be taxing and exhausting for a person with impaired hearing, which is why you must take the time to recharge periodically throughout the night. Separate yourself and give yourself a break by finding a quiet place to recharge, even if it’s only for five minutes. If you are a guest, be sure to ask your host at the beginning of the party (or even beforehand) where you can go to take a break. If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, make sure you have a quiet place reserved for them to rest and recharge.
5. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling near or far this Thanksgiving. If you wear hearing aids, make sure you bring an emergency supply kit with you. Mishaps can occur, and you want to ensure that your hearing aid remains in working condition during the duration of the day. In your kit, spare batteries need to be available. Having a few extra on hand can help ensure your hearing aid will work seamlessly throughout the day. Also, having a cleaning kit and even a dehumidifier on hand can help if you happen to get caught in the rain or snow or your hearing aid gets wet.

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