Besides turkey, what do you think about when someone mentions Thanksgiving? Do you start days before, cooking and getting ready with the family? While you are following grandma’s famous pecan pie recipe, will you reminisce with each other? It’s warm and comfy because you are together, and a yummy 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 struggling to catch the punchline of every joke?
Loss of hearing doesn’t need to define the holiday season for you. You can take charge of your holiday experience, from hearing a salesperson at a noisy store to chatting over drinks at the company party. Hearing loss doesn’t have to hold you hostage. Consider some tricks that will help you to get the most out of the holidays despite your hearing loss.
At Holiday Gatherings
For people with loss of hearing, get-togethers might be the biggest challenge. Here are some tips that will make the experience less stressful:
- Ask for a seat at the middle of the table so you don’t feel as isolated.
- Perhaps try going out of the room, even if just for a little while. Some time for the brain to rest and recover can be very helpful.
- If you are sitting through a speech, ask friends to pass you notes rather than trying to whisper in your ear.
- If there are any speakers which could interfere with your hearing aids, stand away from them. If the music is loud, ask someone to turn it down a bit so you can hear better, too.
- Get a hearing buddy, a friend who sits with you who can repeat important things you missed.
- Visual clues should be carefully noted. Someone is probably speaking to you if they are looking right at you. Tell them that you didn’t hear what they said.
- Provide some visual signs of your own. You don’t need to point it out. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re struggling.
- Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
- Manage Your Expectations. It’s an unrealistic expectation to imagine that you will go into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your loss of hearing is going to make things more challenging. Just tackle it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
- Perhaps there is a quiet area in the room that has better acoustics where you can go.
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 tips.
Taking The Train or Flying
If you prefer to fly or take a train, it can be difficult to hear announcements over the intercom. If you want to make the trip better there are a few things you can do. Start off by checking with the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. They could have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can download on your phone to see track changes or other vital information. They may also offer priority boarding, for instance, or a sign language interpreter if you need one. You can ask for priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. They might offer to take you through a select line in security, too. Be certain to inquire a few weeks early if you want to know what is possible.
Make sure the attendants are aware that you have hearing loss when you get on board. That way if you don’t reply when they ask if you want 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. Lots of resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss such as vibrating alarm clocks and phones which flash lights instead of ringing. So they can improve your safety, some places also have alarms that flash lights.
If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials
If this is your first vacation with your hearing aids, you might not be sure what you need to bring with you. Pack these essentials:
- A cleaning kit
- Additional accessories
- Replacement batteries or a second charger
Wear your hearing aids as you pass security. You are not expected to remove them. You can leave them in while flying, as well.
Finally, if you don’t already have hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. In the newer 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. There isn’t any reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember whether you’ve always had hearing loss or if it’s more recent. To help you know what your hearing options are, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.