Getting Through the Holidays with Hearing Loss
When a simple statement like “can you please pass the gravy” is uttered across a large dinner table it typically amounts to a communication faux pas. For those that suffer with hearing loss, the holidays tend to be awkward and sometimes uncomfortable. However, these tips will help ease the uneasiness when it comes to hanging around your non signing family.
- Help out in the kitchen. This could be as simple as setting up the dinner table arrangements to helping cook with the main course. It leaves less pressure to keep up with the group conversation and allows you to share your culinary skills.
- Sometimes our family forgets things and don’t know how to deal with your hearing loss. Greet every member with a hug and a sign “It’s great to see you”. It reminds them of your hearing loss and eases the discomfort. Just remember to re-educate, re-educate, re-educate.
- Find a family ally and sit next to him or her. While everyone is discussing the latest politics or their most recent family vacation, it gets hard to keep up with the conversation. Talk to him or her about partnering up to help fill in the parts of the conversation you might miss.
- Pick the best seat at the dinner table for you. In general, it typically the one that allows you to make eye contact with as many people as possible. If you are the one hosting, create an assigned seating to benefit not only yourself but also everyone.
- Get rid of the mood lighting. As much as everyone loves a candlelit meal or dimmed lights, dark environments make it hard for a person with hearing loss to read lips or follow the conversation as easily. Well-lit places allow for those with hearing loss to pick up visual cues.