Coping with busy family events

Holiday gatherings can be busy, overwhelming, and full of chatter, laughter, and music. Follow our tips for navigating social events with hearing loss.

Choosing a seat at the dinner table

  • Central location: Aim for a seat that places you centrally in the group. Being at the centre rather than at the end of the table can help you catch more of the conversation.
  • Wall as a backdrop: Sitting with your back to a wall can significantly reduce the intrusion of background noise. It also helps to face the majority of people so that it is easier to follow conversations.
  • Lighting considerations: Good lighting is essential for lip-reading and catching non-verbal cues. Avoid sitting with your back to a light source, as this can cast shadows on others' faces and hinder your ability to read lips and expressions.

Managing noise

  • Quieter corners for intimate conversations: In larger gatherings, seek out quieter spots for conversations. This could be a separate room or a corner away from the main hustle and bustle.
  • Utilising soft furnishings: Rooms with carpets, curtains, and soft furnishings absorb sound better and can reduce the echo and reverberation that make it hard to discern individual voices.
  • Background music: If there’s background music, keep the volume low. High volumes can make it challenging for those with hearing loss to distinguish speech from music.
  • Breaks from noise: Don't hesitate to step outside or into a quieter space for a short break if the noise level becomes overwhelming. A few minutes in a quieter environment can help reset your auditory processing and reduce fatigue.

Preparing your hearing aids for the holidays

Your hearing aids are your allies in ensuring a seamless festive experience. Here’s how to get them holiday-ready.
  • Battery check: Ensure your hearing aid batteries are in top condition. For non-rechargeable batteries, keep spares handy. If you use rechargeable models, a full charge before events is a must.
  • Settings tweaks: Familiarise yourself with your hearing aid settings. Adjust them to suit noisy environments like parties or quieter family dinners.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance is essential. A well-maintained hearing aid is key to optimal performance.
  • Is it time for an upgrade? If you're finding it increasingly difficult to follow conversations or if your device is frequently in need of repair, it might be time for a new one.
  • Pre-holiday hearing test: Consider getting a hearing test before the holiday season kicks in. If your hearing has changed or it’s time to upgrade your hearing aid, it’s best to get this sorted before the busy party season.

Extra tips for being part of the conversation

Being part of the holiday chatter is crucial. Here are some ways to ensure you're not just a listener but an active participant.
  • Open communication: Let people know about your hearing loss. Most are willing to be considerate once they are aware.
  • Buddy system: Pair up with a family member who understands your situation and can help keep you in the loop, especially in group conversations or in moments when you might miss out on something being said.
  • Practice active listening: Focus intently on the speaker, and don't hesitate to ask for repetitions or clarifications if needed. It’s about enjoying the conversation, not just hearing it.

Embrace the joy of the season with Connect Hearing

As we enter the festive season, it's important to remember that hearing loss should never be a barrier to experiencing the joy of holiday gatherings. With the right strategies and preparations, you can fully participate and enjoy every moment of this special time of year.

If you're experiencing challenges with your hearing, or if you think your hearing aid might need an upgrade, don't wait. Now is the perfect time to book a hearing test with Connect Hearing. Our team of professionals are dedicated to providing you with the best solutions tailored to your individual needs.