Hosting Hearing Loss Friendly Parties
We know that holidays or big gatherings can be very stressful for people with hearing loss. With background music and multiple conversations with multiple speakers, holiday festivities can be exhausting.
Sometimes people with hearing loss choose to skip the festivities rather than brave the risk of mishearing and social isolation. But you can help them join in on the fun. If you are hosting a holiday party, take these tips into account to make your gathering more hearing loss friendly.
Break Up the Party Space
Different parts of the space can be used for various activities-dancing, eating or conversation. Be sure to set aside at least one zone for quiet conversation. In common areas, consider setting up chairs in smaller circles, rather than one big one. Smaller circles give the option for more focused conversation, which makes speech intelligibility more manageable for your guests with hearing loss. Keep the music volume low in this area and try to add sound absorbing materials like carpet or pillows into the decor.
Turn the Lights Up & Music Down
Holiday music ensures a festive ambience at parties! There’s no need to eliminate music completely, but keep an eye on the volume level. If you have many guests speaking at once, the noise level in your home may already be quite high. Turn down the music, and try to turn speakers away from areas where people are seated. Even your guests with normal hearing will thank you!
Plan for Entertainment
After the holiday meal, plan some board games or a movie. Board games such as Monopoly or Scrabble are hearing-friendly. If your home entertainment system has wireless capabilities, ask your hard-of-hearing guests about compatibility with their hearing aids. Many hearing aids nowadays allow audio to be streamed directly to the ears with Bluetooth, which makes listening to a movie much easier.
Give Guests Some Space
Keep an eye out for guests that need to take a time out. It can be tiring in social situations for those who experience hearing loss. Don’t try to push them into re-joining the party, just give them space and be aware of them. Your guests will enjoy!
We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy time!