Have a loved one with hearing loss? If so, you probably already know how hard it can be for them to enjoy an event like Thanksgiving. With so many extra people around, noise levels can get pretty high. Often someone with hearing loss will feel left out, awkward or exhausted when they can’t follow conversations in a large group of people. Luckily there are some simple things you can do to make their life a little easier this Thanksgiving.
Ask for their advice
Someone with hearing loss might feel awkward about asking you to help them make Thanksgiving easier for them. Chances are, they won’t want you to go to any extra trouble. However, taking the initiative to ask what extras they might need on the day could take a weight off their mind and mean that they can enjoy the day more. Don’t know what to say? Ask what would help them feel more comfortable.
Keep the audio to a minimum
There’s nothing like a big Thanksgiving get together to get chins wagging. All the chit chat can get pretty loud. It can be really hard for someone with hearing loss to keep track of what’s going on amid all the conversation crossovers. When you factor in background music as well, it can be almost impossible for them to hear what’s being said. Keep audio such as music or the game on TV as low as possible to make things easier for them.
Often a person with hearing loss will feel more at ease sitting next to someone who understands their hearing needs. You can make a seating plan with place names to make sure they are sitting next to someone who’ll speak clearly and be patient with them.
Save the dishes
Rather than getting stuck in with the washing up, save it for after the event. Clattering dishes are noisy and make it harder for someone with hearing loss to hear conversations.
Concentrating on following conversations can be very tiring for someone with hearing loss, especially when we’re talking about a full day event. Let them know where the quiet spaces are around the house so they can take a break if they need to.
Keep a check
Throughout the day, check that your loved one has everything they need and that they’re enjoying themselves. If they seem tired, let them know it’s ok to take a break for a while. Keep a check on the noise levels to make sure they don’t get too loud. Ask them to help you in the kitchen if it’s quieter there.
Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Clarity Hearing!
Scott Marquardt is the owner of Clarity Hearing and a highly skilled audiologist who has been in practice for over 20 years. Dr. Marquardt earned a master’s degree in audiology from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and a doctorate from A.T. Still University. He is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. He and the team offer comprehensive hearing healthcare services and specialize in the care of tinnitus, imbalance, and auditory processing disorders.