Besides turkey, what do you think about when someone mentions Thanksgiving? Do you start days before, cooking and preparing with your family? Will you reminisce with each other while following grandma’s classic homemade pecan pie recipe? Is it warm and cozy not just because of the aroma coming out of the oven, but because you’re together? While the family laughs about your son’s latest girlfriend or watch the grandkids laugh and sing holiday songs will you be enjoying with them? 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 experience the holidays this year. You don’t have to be held hostage by loss of hearing. Consider some tricks that will help you to get the most out of the holidays despite your hearing loss.
Those Holiday Get-Togethers
For people with loss of hearing, get-togethers might be the biggest challenge. Here are some tricks that will make the experience less stressful:
- Find areas in the room that have better acoustics–perhaps a quiet corner.
- Provide some visual hints of your own. You don’t have to point it out. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you’re struggling.
- Manage Your Expectations. It’s an unrealistic expectation to think that you will stroll into a party and find everything to be ideal. Things will be more difficult due to your loss of hearing. Just tackle it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
- Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
- To get things you may have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
- So you can feel less isolated, ask for a seat close to the center of the table.
- Stand away from any speakers that may interfere with your hearing aids. If the music is loud, ask someone to turn it down a little bit so you can hear better, too.
- Be aware of the visual clues. If someone is looking right at you, they are most likely speaking to you. If you didn’t hear what they said tell them.
- Perhaps you could have a friend pass you notes at a speech instead of whispering in your ears.
- Maybe try going out of the room, even if just for a little while. Some time for the brain to rest and recover will be extremely helpful.
Don’t permit the obstacles of hearing loss to stop you from traveling. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these tips.
Flying or Taking the Train
It can be hard to hear the announcements over the speaker if you are flying or taking a train. There are a few things you can do to make the trip easier. To begin with, call the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. There might be an app you can download on your phone that shows vital info or visual signs that show oral announcements. They may even offer a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. If being close enough to lip read or ask questions is important, you can request priority seating. They might offer to take you through a select line in security, too. You won’t know what is offered unless you ask, but do it a few weeks before your trip.
When you board, make certain the attendants know you have hearing loss. That way they will know to tap you on the shoulder if you fail to answer when they ask you if you want a drink.
When you reserve your hotel room, inform them you are hearing impaired. Lots of resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss including vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing. Some places have fire alarms that flash the lights, too, to improve your safety while you stay with them.
What Hearing Aid Essentials to Bring
You might not be sure what to bring with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Some fundamentals to pack include:
- Additional accessories
- Extra batteries or a second charger
- A cleaning kit
As you pass security keep your hearing aids in. Removing them is not necessary. You can keep them in while flying, as well.
Finally, if you don’t already have hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. In the latest hearing aids, there are functions that will get rid of background noise, enhance conversation while amplifying sound. The holidays are a once a year occasion. Whether you have had hearing loss the majority of your life or are new to it, there is no reason the holidays shouldn’t be all that you remember. To help you understand what your hearing solutions are, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.