When you ponder Thanksgiving, what do you think about besides turkey? Does the cooking and preparing with the family begin days before? Will you catch up with each other as you follow grandma’s famous homemade pecan pie recipe? It’s warm and cozy 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 having a difficult time catching the punchline of every joke?
The holiday doesn’t have to be defined for you by hearing loss. 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 tricks that will help you to get the most out of the holidays in spite of your hearing loss.
At Holiday Get-Togethers
Get-togethers may be the most challenging for those with hearing loss. Here are some tips that could make the experience less stressful:
- So you can feel less isolated, ask for a seat near the middle of the table.
- Your expectations have to be managed. It’s pointless walking into a party and expecting everything to go perfectly. Your loss of hearing will definitely make things more difficult. Just tackle it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
- If you are listening to a speech, ask friends to pass you notes instead of trying to whisper in your ear.
- Use visual clues to let others know what is going on. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re having a problem hearing without you needing to tell someone.
- If there are any speakers which might interfere with your hearing aids, stand away from them. If the music is loud, ask the host to turn it down a little bit so you can hear better, too.
- Perhaps try going out of the room, even if just for a while. Some time for the brain to rest and recover will be very helpful.
- In order to get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
- Be aware of the visual clues. Someone is most likely talking to you if they are looking right at you. If you didn’t hear what they said tell them.
- Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
- Maybe there is a quiet place in the room with better acoustics where you can go.
Hearing loss can make traveling more challenging but don’t let that stop you. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.
Taking The Train or Flying
It can be difficult to hear the announcements over the speaker if you are going on a plane or taking a train. There are some things you can do to make the trip better. Start off by checking with the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. There may be an app you can get on your phone that shows vital info or visual signs that show oral announcements. They could also offer priority boarding, for example, or a sign language interpreter if you need one. If being close enough to lip read or ask questions is important, you can ask for priority seating. They might offer to bring you through a select line in security, too. Be sure to ask a few weeks early if you want to know what is provided.
When you board, be sure the attendants are aware you have hearing loss. That way they will know to tap you on the shoulder if you fail to answer when they ask you about a drink.
If you are staying at a hotel, make them aware you are hearing impaired when you set your reservation. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices which are available for those who suffer from hearing loss at many resorts. Some spots have fire alarms that flash the lights, too, to improve your safety while you stay with them.
What Hearing Aid Essentials to Pack
You might not be sure what to bring with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Pack these essentials:
- A cleaning kit
- Extra batteries or a second charger
- Additional accessories
As you pass security keep your hearing aids in. Taking them out is not required. You can leave them in while flying, as well.
And if you don’t already have hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that can 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 are new to it, there is no reason the holidays can’t be everything you remember. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care expert to learn what your hearing solutions are.