The holidays are upon us, and while it’s mostly a magical time to reconnect with family, friends, and loved ones, it can also be stressful for those of us who experience hearing loss. From holiday travel to holiday festivities, we’ve got tips to help you through the holidays.
Preparing for Holiday Travel
The holidays are a busy time for travel, whether you’re driving or flying. Before you hit the road, be sure to have your hearing aids tuned-up and cleaned to make sure they’re in proper working order.
If you use traditional hearing aid batteries, make sure you’ve got extras to spare both for your trip and for the extent of your holiday. If your hearing aids use rechargeable batteries, make sure you’ve packed your recharging unit. For those of you going overseas, check your visiting country’s electrical adaptor requirements and make sure you’ve got a converter.
When you’re on your way, there are a few tips to make sure your travels go smoothly. If you’re traveling via plane, sign up for email or text alerts on your flights. Sometimes airport announcements are difficult to hear, and you don’t want to miss an important one about your flight. The TSA does not require you to remove your hearing aids when going through security, but you might want to notify them before going through the scanners. On your flight, let your flight attendant know about your hearing loss, in case there are important announcements.
Most hearing aids are wireless and equipped with Bluetooth. This allows you to connect to your smartphone or other devices. If you’re driving, you may be able to stream phone calls directly to your hearing aids.
Contact us at Custom Hearing Solutions to see if your aids are compatible.
If you’re hosting for the holidays
As you prepare to host for the holidays, you’re probably checking with your guests about accommodation needs and dietary restrictions. Check in with your guests about hearing needs as well (with 1 in 3 people age 65+ experiencing hearing loss, there’s a good chance an older relative in your family uses hearing aids!).
When setting up your home for the holidays, consider using a circular table or a circular seating arrangement. This helps your guests with hearing loss, as they will be able to stay in the loop with conversations, while allowing them to read facial expressions and lips if necessary.
Noise levels may rise as more people collect in a common area, so it could be helpful to your hearing-impaired guests to set up multiple spaces in different rooms to sit and have one-on-one or small group conversations. For those with hearing loss, background noise could make communication difficult. Setting up these smaller, quieter spaces facilitates easier conversation.
Speaking of background noise, it’s not really a holiday party without festive music, is it? You should definitely play those tunes for ambience – but if possible, keep the volume on low. It will also help your hearing-impaired guests if you turned your speakers away from seating areas.
If You’re Attending Holiday Events
Communication with your hosts is important if you’re attending a holiday dinner. By simply letting your host know of your hearing needs, they’ll be able to make sure the environment is conducive for you to socialize.
Even so, we all know that holiday parties can get quite loud. If you find yourself overwhelmed in the big common spaces with multiple conversations and speakers, take your conversation to a quieter corner of the room or into a different part of the house.
For those of us with hearing loss, we all know which positions to sit in to best hear. When possible, position your “better hearing” side toward speakers, so that you do not have to fight to hear conversation. When sitting down to dinner, pick a dinner buddy whose speech is easy for you to follow, and who will also loop you back into the conversation if you lose track.
Even with advanced hearing technology and speech recognition features, it may still be difficult to follow conversations in especially noisy environments. If your hearing aid offers wireless connectivity, you may be able to connect to your smartphone and activate the microphone to use as an assistive listening device.
Commit to Hearing Health in the New Year!
Contact us at Custom Hearing Solutions to schedule a hearing test for the new year. From all of us, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday!Contact us at Custom Hearing Solutions