With the holidays upon us, you may find yourself in groups where hearing may be difficult. Here are some tips to help make things a bit easier:
- Reduce the clatter of dishes and silverware by using tablecloths or placemats (plus they look pretty too!)
- Keep background music low
- Make quiet areas available for conversation
- Make sure you are facing the person you are talking with and that you have a clear view of their face
- When asked to repeat something, rephrase your statement instead of simply repeating the same thing
- Don’t shout. It adds distortion and can actually make things more difficult to understand
- If you didn’t hear something, tell the speaker what you didn’t hear so they don’t have to repeat the entire message (“What time are you going to dinner on Saturday?” vs. “Huh?”)
- Write out important information
- Gently suggest that those who seem to be struggling have their hearing checked to make sure they’re hearing their best (they may simply need to have their ears cleaned)
- When in doubt, ask for suggestions of ways to be better understood.
Above all, relax and enjoy your friends and family!