Besides turkey, what do you think about when a person mentions Thanksgiving? Do you begin days before, cooking and getting ready with your family? While you are following grandma’s classic pecan pie recipe, will you reminisce with each other? Is it warm and cozy not just because of the aroma coming out of the oven, but because you’re together? 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 need to be defined for you by hearing loss. From talking over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the din of holiday shoppers, you can take control of how you enjoy the holidays this season. 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 tips.
Those Holiday Gatherings
Get-togethers might be the most challenging for those with loss of hearing. Here are some tips that could make the experience less stressful:
- Get a hearing buddy, a friend who sits with you who can repeat important things you might have missed.
- Use visual hints to let others know what is going on. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you have a problem hearing without you having to tell someone.
- Be aware of the visual clues. When someone is looking right at you, they are probably speaking to you. If you didn’t hear what they said inform them.
- Perhaps try stepping out of the room, even if just for a little while. Some time for the brain to rest and recover can be extremely helpful.
- Manage Your Expectations. It’s an impractical 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 challenging. Don’t allow the challenges to stress you out, just use a sense of humor about it.
- Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
- Request a seat at the middle of the table so you don’t feel so isolated.
- Perhaps you could get a friend to pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
- Look for places in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
- If there are any speakers which could interfere with your hearing aids, stand away from them. Don’t be afraid to ask the host to turn down the music so you can hear better.
Hearing loss can make traveling more challenging but don’t allow that to get in your way. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.
Flying or Taking the Train
It can be difficult to hear the announcements over the speaker if you are going on a plane or taking a train. There are some things you can do to make the trip smoother. To begin with, call the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. There may be an app you can download on your phone that shows vital information or visual signs that show oral announcements. They might even offer a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. You can ask for priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. Security may have a special line that you can get in, also. You won’t know what is offered until you ask, but do it a few weeks before you go.
Make sure the attendants recognize you have hearing loss when you board. That way they will know to tap you on the shoulder if you fail to answer when they ask you about a drink.
When you reserve your hotel room, let them know you are hearing impaired. Many resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss including vibrating alarm clocks and phones which flash lights instead of ringing. So they can improve your safety, some spots are also set up with alarms that flash lights.
What Hearing Aid Essentials to Pack
You might not be sure what to bring with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Some essentials to pack include:
- A cleaning kit
- Additional accessories
- Replacement batteries or a second charger
Wear your hearing aids as you pass security. You do not need to remove them. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.
Lastly, if you don’t already have hearing aids, maybe it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that can amplify sound while enhancing conversations and getting rid of background noise. The holidays are a once a year occasion. There isn’t any reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember whether you’ve always had hearing loss or if it’s more recent. To help you know what your hearing options are, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.