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8 Tips for a Happy, Hearing Friendly Holiday Gathering

The holidays are all about family gatherings and making memories. Since over half of Canadians over the age of 65 are affected by hearing loss, most family gatherings this year will include at least one person who is hard of hearing. These tips will help your loved one to stay connected during your holiday gatherings.

  1. Let your family members know ahead of time how to include your loved ones who have hearing loss.
  2. When you speak to someone with hearing loss, turn your head towards them and speak clearly. The sound of your voice may seem muffled if you turn away while speaking.
  3. Try to have conversations that include the entire group at the table – multiple conversations that create background chatter can make it more difficult to hear.
  4. Ask the person with hearing loss if the music interferes with their ability to hear conversations. If so, turn the volume down to a level that is comfortable.
  5. Include a tablecloth or placemats in your holiday table setting to reduce the background noise of clattering dishes.
  6. Seat the person with their back to an open space, so there is less noise reflection.
  7. Be aware of whether your loved one is engaged. If they seem withdrawn, they may be facing challenges with the current situation in some way. Can you improve the situation for them?
  8. Make a quiet area available where your loved one can have a one-on-one chat with someone, or just take a break from the sounds of a boisterous gathering.

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