Thanksgiving is a day filled with lots of family, food, and thanks. For hearing impaired individuals, the worst part of the day are the conversations. There is a lot of noise, a lot of people, and a lot of talking for many hours. Here are some ways for those who are hearing impaired to enjoy Thanksgiving:
- Sit in a good spot: When seated at a table, pick a seat that has nothing is behind you. This will ensure all of the noise is coming from in front of you. Another option would be to sit in a prominent seat of the table, like the head or middle of the table. Both of these spots provide the best chance for you to communicate.
- Keep background noise down if possible: Typically, at Thanksgiving, besides all the chatter, the background noise is music. If the music is too much, you can ask the host to turn it down.
- Converse with those next to you: Stick to talking to those near you. It is okay to move toward the conversation or move it to a more quiet area. There is no need to try and be in a conversation with someone on the other side of the room!
- Wear your hearing aids: Besides just at Thanksgiving and other major holidays, you should be wearing your hearing aids. If you do not wear your hearing aids, you decrease your ability to hear.
- Try other technologies: Most newer hearing aids have the capability to be paired with phones, tablets, or FM systems. These ALDs, assistive listening devices, can amplify speech and noises straight to your hearing aids.
- Take a break: You may need to take listening breaks. At an event like Thanksgiving, nonstop listening is going on. As a hearing impaired individuals, it may be a good idea to get away from the noise for a few minutes if you are feeling overwhelmed or tired.
- Don’t fake it: If you do not hear what someone is saying, there is no need to ask like you do. Do not feel embarrassed or upset if you need to ask someone to repeat themselves.
- Give visual clues to indicate if you are having trouble hearing: Some visual clues could be putting your hand to your ear or leaning forward. This gives silent cues to the person or group you are talking to that they need to speak louder without interrupted their speech.
- Have reasonable expectations: Understand that you might not hear or understand and that is okay and completely normal!
- Bring your sense of humor: Try not to let your hearing impairment overpower you. Just be yourself!