The holiday season is often one of the best times of the year. There are beautiful Christmas trees and lights all around, and you can can't forget the delicious sugar-filled treats and gift-giving. Most important of all, we often surround ourselves with friends and family.
But if one of your loved ones has hearing loss, enjoying the holiday season can more challenging than you’d hoped. Your loved one may have trouble communicating like they used to, and they may even refrain from participating in activities as a result.
When spending time with your loved one over the holidays, consider doing your part to accommodate their hearing loss. Simply follow these 10 tips to better enjoy your holiday festivities together.
1. Face your loved one when speaking to them.
Making eye contact with someone when you speak to them is good practice for active listening. It’s even more important when speaking to someone with hearing loss. Doing so will make it easier for your loved one to see what you are saying by reading your lips and expressions.
2. Speak clearly, instead of raising your voice.
Raising your voice may seem like a good idea. Oddly enough, it actually makes it harder for your loved one to hear what you’re saying. Instead, speak at a normal speed and volume, and articulate the words you say.
3. Rather than repeat, rephrase.
There’s a strong chance your loved one will ask you to repeat yourself. But your loved one may have trouble hearing certain words, so saying the same words again won’t be very helpful. Instead of repeating, rephrase.
Thought of giving the gift of hearing? Here are 6 Reasons NOT to Give Hearing Aids as a Gift.
4. Notice whether your loved one is participating.
If you notice that your loved one is sitting on the other side of the room, they may feel excluded. If this happens, ask them if there are any ways you can help to better accommodate their hearing loss. Chances are, you can.
5. Don’t yell across the room.
As noted, yelling rarely ever helps when communicating with someone with hearing loss. Yelling to someone across a room is even less effective. Instead, walk up to them, speak to them directly and clearly, and you’ll be much more successful in getting your message across.
6. Tune down the Christmas music.
Background noise can make conversation difficult for those with hearing loss. While the Christmas music adds to the atmosphere, it may be better to turn it down or off altogether.
What can your loved one do to hear better? Here’s How to Hear the Sounds of the Season with Hearing Loss.
7. Turn on the TV’s closed-captions.
Planning to watch one of your favorite Christmas films this holiday season? Instead of waiting for your loved one to ask you to turn on the closed-captions, turn them on from the get-go. That way, they’ll feel included in the movie-watching from the start.
8. Give them a Christmas card.
There’s a strong chance your loved one will still miss some of the things that you say to them. To make sure they know you value them this holiday season, give them a handwritten card. Then, you can be sure they got the message.
9. Make sure your gifts accommodate their hearing loss.
Take advantage of the holiday to make your loved one’s life with hearing loss a bit easier. We don’t recommend purchasing hearing aids as a gift. Instead, consider purchasing another hearing-impaired accommodating gift. Some options include vibrating alarm clocks to captioned telephones.
10. Talk to them about getting hearing aids.
It may not be the best conversation to have on Christmas day, but you may want to start talking to your loved one about their hearing loss. And just maybe, they’ll decide to start their journey to hearing better before the holiday festivities fully ensue.
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