A Hearing Friendly Holiday Dinner is Much Appreciated


Susan L Fenrich, BC-HIS*

A Hearing Friendly Holiday Dinner is Much Appreciated

The holiday season is a time of gathering with family and friends. Did you know that over 50% of all gatherings this holiday season will have at least one person with hearing loss attending? Thirty percent of all gatherings will have people with hearing aids at the dinner table. For those that have hearing difficulties this can be a time of frustration and depression. As the host or hostess of your holiday gatherings there are several tips to promote better hearing for everyone in attendance.

1) Carefully plan where people are sitting. If there are children in the mix you may want to have a special table off to the side or in another room just for them. It not only makes them feel special, it keeps the high pitched voices away from everyone so it is easier to carry on a conversation. For the long table full of people, place the person with hearing loss at one end of the table so he/she can concentrate on the conversation with those nearby. Being in the middle of the group can be quite frustrating when several conversations are going on at the same time. Seat those with hearing loss further away from the kitchen so the clanging dishes and the fan noise do not interfere with conversation. Using place cards would be helpful and less embarrassing for the person with hearing loss.

2) Keep the line of sight open to everyone. It is so much easier to carry on a conversation when you can see the person who you are talking too. Those with hearing loss often depend on lip reading to successfully navigate through a conversation. So if you must make the place look festive do so with beautiful table cloths, runners, place-mats and dishes. Tall candles and centerpieces would make it difficult to see each other’s faces during a conversation. Using round tables also make it easier to see the people who are talking to,

3) Turn Down the Volume. Most people have difficulty hearing speech in the midst of noise. This is true for both those with and without hearing loss. As we get older, it gets even harder to separate speech from noise. Did you know that 72% of all holiday gathering have sports, music, or both playing in the background? In respect to Grandma and Grandpa, try to keep the noise level to a minimum. If you are playing your favorite Christmas tunes, set the volume at a lower level. You may want to turn them off completely while eating so people can hear each other better. Often the men watch a football game, while the women talk. Make sure the men are in another room with the television at a lower level of volume. If Grandpa can’t hear it might be good to have a TV listening device for him to use. Turning the TV off during the meal time might be best, if that is not agreeable, mute the volume and put on closed captioning.

4) Don’t talk so fast! When we haven’t seen our family or friends for a long time it is easy to get excited, and when we do, we tend to talk a mile a minute. For those with hearing loss and hearing aids it is important to talk slowly and distinctly. As we age we not only lose our hearing but our reaction time gets slower too, making it even more difficult to hear everything that is being said. Even if we hear the words we may not be able to understand them.

5) If you have a hearing loss, get hearing help today! Just like it is no fun not to hear; it is no fun for friends and family members to have to raise their voices to get you to hear. No one should go without hearing help if they need it. There are hearing aids available for every hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget. And if there is “no budget” there is help for you too! For those with hearing aids, you may find significant improvement with an upgrade or with other assistive listening devices that will work with your current hearing aids to bring the speech signal directly into your ears.

           “Everyone is happy to hear better!”

Call Welsch Hearing Aid Company today at 920-452-0213 or 1-800-924-2101 to schedule your FREE hearing screening, consultation and demonstration. A representative from GN ReSound will be in our office for our Holiday Open House on Tuesday, December 23rd. Come in and hear what the latest in digital hearing technology can do for you! If you hurry you may still be able to get hearing aids by Christmas!

Information for this article came from: http://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52333-How-to-make-your-holiday-dinner-hearing-friendly. The content contributions of Welsch Hearing Aid Company should not be considered by anyone as a substitute for medical or other hearing health professional diagnosis, treatment, advice, or recommendations.

By Susan L. Fenrich, BC-HIS, Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist, Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences, and Michelle Walding, Marketing Assistant

The content contributions of Welsch Hearing Aid Company should not be considered by anyone as a substitute for medical or other hearing health professional diagnosis, treatment, advice, or recommendations.