Christmas can be rough for people with hearing loss. Seeing friends and family is nice, but social occasions tend to be larger and louder and often occur one after the other. It can be exhausting and overwhelming, and even depressing to watch others celebrate when you feel like you cannot participate in the way you would like.
It can be hard on those who love us as well. They don’t want to see you struggle or be unhappy, and they can get annoyed if you don’t want to partake in the festivities.
Today’s post is for them. Please share these tips with them so you all can enjoy a happier Christmas together.
If you are sharing your Christmas with someone with hearing loss, here are five things you can do to make your gatherings more hearing-loss-friendly.
1. Break up party spaces into smaller areas.
Even at a large party, certain areas can be set aside for quiet conversation and other areas for louder pursuits. Breaking up the space will also cut down the overall level of background noise.
2. Turn the music down and the lights up.
People often dim the lights and crank the music at parties, but both make it difficult for people with hearing loss to hear and lip read. If you can, pick a quieter soundtrack and a slightly brighter glow for your event.
3. Keep an eye out for the loner in the corner.
It can be challenging for someone with hearing loss to hear well in a cocktail party setting. Rather than risk faking it, someone with hearing loss may go sit to the side, staying out of the fray and watching others interact from a distance. If you see someone you love on the sidelines, seek them out for a one-on-one conversation or invite them to join you in a quieter room.
4. Use a microphone for speeches.
If you have them, use a microphone so all party guests can enjoy them. If you really want to get fancy (for large parties), connect the microphone to a hearing loop so those with hearing loss can listen in through their t-coil.
5. Have realistic expectations.
Even when everyone is trying their best, it just might not be possible for someone with hearing loss to hear well. Bring your sense of humor and understand if someone with hearing loss needs to take a break in a quieter room for some period of time.