With the holiday season upon us, many people are looking forward to celebrating the traditions of gathering family and friends for gift giving and having a holiday feast. Coping with the holidays season is stressful enough without having to deal with hearing loss. But for many who suffer from hearing loss, the issues and complications involved with the holidays can make many want to avoid dealing with them and stay home instead. Fortunately, there are little things that can be done to make sure everyone is comfortable and feels included. When it comes to accommodating those with hearing loss, the changes can be simple and yet, have a profound effect on the celebration. Here are a few tips and tricks to help make get-togethers or celebrations more hearing loss-friendly, and for the perfect hearing loss friendly meal.
How to Make a Hearing Loss Friendly Meal for the Holidays
Plan Out the Space
Overly crowded rooms with loud music can quickly overwhelm those with hearing loss. Hearing aids are not known to deal with background noise very well and, as a result, can isolate those with difficulty hearing. Breaking up the space by placing activities in different areas can do a lot to help minimize background noise. Designating a quiet spot can also provide relief to those who need a break from all the noise.
Think About Having More than One Table
Traditionally, the larger the gathering, the larger the table. However, in general, the same issues for rooms also carry over to the table. Having everyone at a single table can quickly overwhelm and stress out those with hearing loss. Providing multiple tables with smaller capacity can go a long way to help those with hearing difficulties stay engaged in the conversation.
Avoid Dim Lighting and Dark Places
Many who suffer from hearing loss use lip reading as a way to compensate; having low lighting can seriously interfere with their ability to understand and communicate.
Make Sure to Speak Up
While giving speeches or toasting, you may want to think about where people are positioned and make sure guests with hearing loss are closer to the speaker or, better yet, invest in a microphone and amplifier or a portable hearing loop for t-coil hearing aids.
With a little forethought and pre-planning, you can ensure that one is left out of your holiday festivities.