When you think about Thanksgiving, what do you think about other than turkey? Do you start days before, cooking and getting ready with the family? Will you reminisce with each other while following grandma’s classic homemade pecan pie recipe? It’s warm and comfortable 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 laugh and play. Or are you struggling to catch the punchline of every joke?
The holiday doesn’t have to be defined for you by loss of hearing. You can take charge of your holiday experience, from hearing a salesperson at a noisy store to talking over drinks at the company get together. You don’t have to be held hostage by loss of hearing. Consider how to get the most out of your holiday in spite of your hearing loss. Here are some recommendations.
Those Holiday Get-Togethers
Parties could be the most challenging for those with loss of hearing. To make the experience less stressful, here are some tricks:
- Use visual hints 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 difficulty hearing without you needing to tell someone.
- Look for places in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
- If you are listening to a speech, encourage friends to pass you notes instead of attempting to whisper in your ear.
- Perhaps try stepping out of the room, even if just for a little while. It will allow your brain to have an opportunity to a rest.
- Visual clues should be carefully noted. When someone is looking at you, they are most likely speaking to you. If you didn’t hear what they said tell them.
- Stand away from any speakers that may interfere with your hearing aids. Don’t be afraid to ask the host to turn down the music so you can hear better.
- Stand with your back to the wall. It could help block some of the background noise.
- Manage Your Expectations. It’s an unrealistic expectation to imagine that you will go into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your hearing loss is going to make things more difficult. Just approach it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
- Ask for a seat at the middle of the table so you don’t feel as isolated.
- In order to get things you may have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
Don’t permit the obstacles of hearing loss to stop you from traveling. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.
Taking The Train or Flying
If you prefer to fly or ride the rails, it can be difficult to hear announcements over the speaker. If you want to make the trip smoother there are some things you can do. Finding out if the airport or train station offers any special services for the hearing impaired is step one. 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 might even offer a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. If being close enough to lip read or ask questions is essential, you can request priority seating. Security may have a special line that you can get in, also. You won’t know what is offered unless you ask, but do it a few weeks before your trip.
When you get on board, make certain 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 if you want a drink.
If you are staying at a hotel, make them aware you are hearing impaired when you make your reservation. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices which are offered for those who suffer from hearing loss at many resorts. Some spots are set up with fire alarms that flash the lights, too, to improve your safety while you stay with them.
If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials
You may not be sure what to bring with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Pack these essentials:
- Additional accessories
- A cleaning kit
- Extra batteries or a second charger
As you pass security keep your hearing aids in. You do not need to remove them. Also, during a flight, you can keep them in.
Finally, if you don’t have hearing aids, maybe it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that can amplify sound while enhancing conversations and eliminating background noise. The holidays are a once a year celebration. There isn’t any reason the holidays can’t be everything you remember whether you’ve had hearing loss your whole life or if it’s more recent. To help you know what your hearing solutions are, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.