Loud music, background chatter and dim lighting can have family members with hearing loss feeling ‘left out in the cold’ this time of year.
“While holiday get-togethers should be something everyone looks forward to, they can also be a source of stress, anxiety and feelings of frustration for those with hearing loss,” says Registered Hearing Instrument Specialist and owner of Ears Hearing Clinic, Kim Galick. “Thankfully, making the holidays more enjoyable for everyone isn’t difficult – with some special consideration and a small amount of effort, everyone can look forward to and enjoy the holidays this year.”
Kim shares her top three tips for ensuring your loved ones feel heard, loved and respected over the holidays.
- Set the scene: Turn down the music to allow conversations to flow easier, keep table decor low to ensure everyone can see each other’s facial expressions and mouths, and use bright lighting to help those with hearing loss clearly see everyone else.
- Hearing aids can help: Hearing aids are an amazing tool that can make a big difference…but only when they’re actually being used. Getting used to hearing aids and adjusting them to suit someone’s individual needs takes time. Encourage loved ones to use their hearing aids regularly and gently remind family members who use them, to wear them during social events.
- A little patience and kindness goes a long way: Patience is key when communicating with a family member who is experiencing hearing loss. Be conscious of how fast you’re speaking, make sure you have their attention before you start speaking to them and calmly repeat or rephrase what you’re saying as needed. If possible, partner older relatives with a family advocate, someone who’s specially tasked with making sure a family member with hearing loss is being supported and ‘heard’ throughout the event.
“Hearing loss affects more than just how we hear, it changes how we connect and communicate with the people they love,” Kim says. “These small changes cost us nothing but can mean everything to a loved one with hearing loss this holiday season.”
For a free hearing consultation, call Kim Galick at Ears Hearing Clinic, 604-427-2828 or reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find Ears Hearing at Unit C 20568 56 Ave. in Langley, online at earslangley.com and follow them on Facebook.
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