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Six Ways to Include Adults with Hearing Loss in Family Gatherings
Posted by Echo Hearing Systems & Audiology on August 27, 2017
Suffering from hearing loss can make a person feel isolated during group events. These helpful tips will make sure everyone is included in the conversation.
1. Make Sure Everyone Knows
The most important thing a family member can do to ensure that no one gets left out is to make sure that everyone is aware of the situation. If there will be anyone new at the gathering, tactfully find a way to mention that one of the guests has some hearing loss. This will help ensure that everyone makes an effort to include that guest in the conversation.
2. Plan the Seating
Making a seating chart might be a little much for an informal gathering, but the host can take a room's acoustics into account when arranging the chairs. Have the guests face each other, especially if the person with hearing loss can read lips. It also helps if the area is well lighted. For outdoor gatherings, look for a quiet space without a lot of distractions.
3. Minimize Background Noise
Distracting noises can interfere with hearing aids
. To ensure easy communication, there should be as little background noise as possible. Loud appliances such as the dishwasher should be turned off, and if there is any music playing, it should be set at a low volume. Some noises can even cause feedback in hearing aids. Check out our blog post for other tips for eliminating feedback.
4. Make an Effort to Include Everyone
During conversation, check periodically to make sure the person with hearing loss understands everything that is going on. Parties should speak clearly without shouting. Sometimes it helps to have another family member act as an advocate and remain seated nearby to repeat what is being said if necessary. This will help keep the hearing impaired family member from feeling ignored.
5. Make Eye Contact
Making and maintaining eye contact while talking is an important aspect of communication, even among people with healthy hearing. This is even more important when communicating with someone who is hearing-impaired because of the subtleties that are expressed through visual contact. It also creates a more personal experience for both parties.
6. Be Patient
It can be frustrating to have to repeat oneself, but everyone should keep in mind that it is much more frustrating to be unable to hear. It's helpful if the family can be patient and keep a good humor about the situation so that no one is made to feel self-conscious.
If a member of your family is suffering from hearing loss, Echo Hearing Systems & Audiology, Inc. can help diagnose the problem and provide a solution for better hearing. We also have an online hearing test
so that your loved ones can assess their ability to hear certain frequencies from the comfort of their home. If you think they may need hearing aids, then visit any of our five locations in the Columbus area. You can also set up a free consultation by filling out our contact form