Besides turkey, what do you think about when a person talks about Thanksgiving? Do you start days before, cooking and getting ready with your family? Will you catch up with each other while following grandma’s famous homemade pecan pie recipe? It’s warm and comfortable because you are together, and a delicious aroma is wafting from the oven. Will you be laughing while the family enjoys hearing about your son’s grades or listening to the grandkids laugh and play. Or are you having a difficult time catching the punchline of every joke?
Loss of hearing doesn’t have to define the holiday season for you. From chatting over drinks at the company party to hearing the salesperson over the loud holiday shoppers, you can take control of how you enjoy the holidays this year. Hearing loss doesn’t need to hold you hostage. Think about some tips that will allow you to get the most out of the holidays despite your hearing loss.
At Holiday Gatherings
For anyone who has loss of hearing, get-togethers could be the most difficult challenge. To make the experience less stressful, here are some suggestions:
- Look for areas in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
- Stand with your back to the wall. It can help block some of the background noise.
- Go out of the room every now and then. Some time for the brain to rest and recover can be very helpful.
- Manage Your Expectations. It’s an impractical expectation to imagine that you will walk into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your loss of hearing is going to make things more difficult. Don’t allow the difficulties to stress you out, just have a sense of humor about it.
- Visual clues should be carefully observed. When someone is looking at you, they are most likely talking to you. If you didn’t hear what they said tell them.
- In order to get things you may have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
- Provide some visual cues of your own. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re having difficulty hearing without you needing to tell someone.
- If you are sitting through a speech, encourage friends to pass you notes instead of attempting to whisper in your ear.
- If there are any speakers that could interfere with your hearing aids, move away from them. Don’t be afraid to ask the host to turn down the music so you can hear better.
- In order to feel less isolated, request a seat close to the center of the table.
Don’t allow the challenges of hearing loss to get in the way of your travels. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.
Taking The Train or Flying
If you prefer to fly or ride the rails, it can be hard to hear announcements over the intercom. If you want to make the trip easier there are some things that can be done. Start off by checking with the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. They might have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can get on your phone to see track changes or other critical information. They could even provide a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. You can ask for priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. Security might have a special line that you can get in, also. Be certain to ask a few weeks before you go if you want to know what is offered.
Be certain the attendants recognize you have hearing loss when you board. That way if you don’t answer when they ask about a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to make sure.
When you reserve your hotel room, let them know you are hearing impaired. Many resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss like vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing. In order to improve your safety, some spots are also set up with alarms that flash lights.
If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials
You might not be certain what to take with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Pack these essentials:
- A cleaning kit
- Additional accessories
- Extra batteries or a second charger
As you go through security keep your hearing aids in. You do not need to take them out. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.
Finally, if you don’t already have hearing aids, maybe it’s time. In the newer hearing aids, there are features that will get rid of background noise, enhance conversation while amplifying sound. The holidays are a once a year celebration. There is no reason the holidays can’t be everything you remember whether you’ve had hearing loss your whole life or if you are new to it. Make an appointment with your hearing care expert to find out what your hearing solutions are.