Now that the holidays are in full swing, there is no shortage of parties and family gatherings. If you have loved ones with hearing loss these get-togethers could bring on insecurity and anxiety. They can become overwhelmed and exhausted by the constant background noise and focus required by conversations in a loud environment.
If you have friends or family that have been avoiding your parties and family functions, hearing loss could be the culprit. The good news is there are a few simple things you can do as the host to make your hearing-impaired loved ones feel more comfortable at your gatherings.
Good Lighting and Low Music
There is often a lot of background noise at parties, which is exacerbated further by loud music, which makes people talk even louder. Evening gatherings often have dimmed lights as well. Alternatively, if the music is low and the interior lights are bright, your guests can see and understand other guests better, making them more comfortable to interact.
Setting up distinct areas for different activities can also help. An area for eating in one room, a space for conversation, a room for dancing and music, and another area for people to watch the game makes each area more attractive and fun. Sectioning off the party can also break up background noise and help those with hearing loss navigate it more comfortably.
Engage with the Loners
When someone is feeling tired from all the activities and effort of communication, they may escape to a corner or a quiet room. If you spot a wallflower, approach and start a conversation in a quiet area so they feel like they are a part of the activities—but don’t pressure them to come back to the party until they feel ready.
Hearing Loss Needs at a Gathering
When we are planning get-togethers we often ask about eating restrictions. In the same vein, think of guests who may have hearing issues, thinking about table seating preference or other considerations. A person with hearing difficulties may find it easiest to hear everyone if seated in the middle of the table, for example.
When you plan your gathering with your loved ones’ specific needs in mind, they will be more likely to attend and have a good time at your party.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon (925) 394-4646