Holiday Help for Hearing Loss

Holiday Help for Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be an embarrassing thing to admit to and people often pretend as though they have no difficulty in hearing or deny their hearing impairment when confronted with it by loved ones. Family gatherings during the holiday season can be a wonderful, festive time but can also be stressful for those with hearing loss.

People with hearing loss often underestimate the negative effects of their impairment on themselves and others. This holiday season you can help your loved one who is suffering from hearing loss make the most out of their holiday experience through these coping techniques to help deal effectively with hearing loss.

Create a strategic environment conducive to effective communication. Make sure you have sufficient lighting to help your hearing-impaired guests follow your conversations better using lip-reading and nonverbal, body language. Avoid obstructions to the line of sight, such as large centerpieces, candles or dim lighting. Round tables are ideal for creating a more uniform sense of hearing. During mealtimes, make sure you switch off the background music and refrain from resuming noisy household or kitchen activities until everyone has finished dining.

Become a moderator and make sure you pay extra attention to those who experience hearing loss so that they too can have a comfortable holiday experience. Be sure to involve them in all the festivities so that they do not feel isolated due to their hearing impairment. Due to their hearing loss, people may be hesitant to ask for something, thus remain alert to their necessities and ensure that they are well looked after.

Speaking to someone with hearing loss does not have to be difficult or frustrating. Simply remember to make direct eye contact and ensure they give you their full attention before you speak to them. You can add a personal touch by beginning a conversation with their name and occasionally using nonverbal methods and facial expressions to supplement your communication.

If you decide to approach them directly and address their hearing loss, make sure you do so in a warm, supportive manner. People with hearing loss may be too embarrassed to admit their hearing health but are aware they are having some problems and may in fact be relieved to talk about it with someone who is empathic and understanding. Do not force them to treat their hearing difficulties but simply be there to listen to them discuss their problems and provide any help only if they ask for it.

Holiday seasons are a time for relaxation and happiness, and may prove as a wonderful opportunity to open up to your loved ones and discuss their hearing health. Encourage them to get their hearing evaluated if they disclose having significant difficulties, and ensure your warmth and support throughout the conversation. Help your loved ones help themselves to regain their sense of hearing this holiday season.