When you think about Thanksgiving, what do you think about other than turkey? Does the cooking and preparing with your family begin days before? While you are following grandma’s famous pecan pie recipe, will you catch up with each other? 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 laughing and playing. Or are you fighting to hear what everyone is talking about?
The holiday doesn’t have to be defined for you by loss of hearing. From talking over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the din of holiday shoppers, you can take control of how you experience the holidays this season. Hearing loss doesn’t need to hold you hostage. Consider how to get the most out of your holiday despite your loss of hearing. Here are some tips.
At Holiday Parties
Parties may be the most challenging for those with loss of hearing. Here are some suggestions that could make the experience less stressful:
- Manage Your Expectations. It’s an unrealistic expectation to imagine that you will go into a party and find everything to be ideal. Things will be more difficult due to your hearing loss. Don’t allow the challenges to get you stressed out, just use a sense of humor about it.
- Stay away from any speakers that might interfere with your hearing aids. If the music is loud, ask the host to turn it down a little bit so you can hear better, too.
- In order to feel less alone, request a seat near the center of the table.
- Find areas in the room that have better acoustics–perhaps a quiet corner.
- In order to get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
- Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
- Maybe you could have a friend pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
- Use visual clues to let others know what is happening. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you have a problem hearing without you having to tell someone.
- Go out of the room every now and then. It will allow your brain to have an opportunity to a rest.
- Be aware of the visual clues. If someone is looking at you, they are most likely speaking to you. If you didn’t hear what they said let them know.
Don’t allow the obstacles of hearing loss to get in the way of your travels. Here are a few recommendations to help make your holiday travels go smoothly.
Taking The Train or Flying
It can be hard to hear the announcements over the speaker if you are flying or taking a train. If you want to make the trip smoother there are a few things that can be done. Finding out if the airport or train station offers any special services for the hearing impaired is the first step. They could have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can get on your phone to see track changes or other vital information. They may 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 may have a special line that you can get in, also. Be certain to ask a few weeks early if you want to find out what is possible.
When you board, make sure the attendants are aware you have hearing loss. That way if you don’t reply when they ask about a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to make sure.
If you are staying at a hotel, let them know you are hearing impaired when you make your reservation. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices that are available for those who have hearing loss at many resorts. In order to improve your safety, some places also have alarms that flash lights.
If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials
You might not be sure what to take with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Some essentials to pack include:
- A cleaning kit
- Additional accessories
- Extra batteries or a second charger
Wear your hearing aids as you pass security. Removing them is not necessary. You can keep them in during an air flight, also.
Lastly, if you don’t have hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that will amplify sound while enhancing conversations and eliminating background noise. The holidays come but once a year. Whether you have had hearing loss most of your life or just got them, there is no reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember. To help you understand what your hearing options are, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.