Hearing loss and Holidays can make for a challenging situation. This Holiday Season, ease communication for those with hearing loss and give the gift of inclusion and conversation. It is not that hard to do.
As an invisible disability, hearing loss changes lives. From the outside, people look the same and herein lies an issue: it is easy to ignore them and to minimize their communication challenges.
This is a major concern that people in support groups share all too often. They find themselves on the outside of conversations and activities even with those whom they have known for a long time. They perceive this as isolating and depressing, especially during the Holidays—the peak family-and-friends time of the year.
Thanksgiving kicks off the Holiday Season. Unfortunately, it serves as a reminder that talking to loved ones has become difficult. The dynamics of social life have changed and so has life in general.
Even the best of hearing aids have limits when it comes to sorting out dialogue that runs on at supersonic speed in noisy places. Technology helps, but it can only do so much.
It is a real gift to spare the hearing-challenged from having to ask over and over for clarification of what was just said. Do not get upset if they share their communication needs with you. They are not being critical or demanding. They merely want to participate in the easiest yet most efficient way possible and are anxious to understand your every word
Of course, these communication strategies do not only apply to Holidays. They apply to everyday life. Yet, it is during the Holiday Season that those with hearing loss appreciate all the more being included and heard.
To learn about ears and hearing, please see my book on hearing loss: What Did You Say? An Unexpected Journey into the World of Hearing Loss, now in its second updated edition. Sharing my story and what I had to learn the hard way.