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Blog: Staying connected at Christmas – managing social gatherings

By Hearing Link

In the third day of our festive blog series, we offer some tips for managing social gatherings at Christmas time.

Christmas can be a social time of year, and when you have hearing loss, this may leave you more feeling more exhausted than usual.

Groups of people, having to constantly lipread, background noise and poorly lit environments present barriers which contribute to these feelings of tiredness and frustration.

Although many of us will be limited to how many people we can mix with indoors, it is important to be prepared!

Here are some tips that could help you:

  1. Use your hearing aids: Hearing aids will help you to filter out any unwanted background noise and distortion, so you can focus on what’s being said if out at the shops or having Christmas dinner with the family. See also – our guide about looking after your hearing aids
  2. Tell others about your hearing loss: If socialising with others, politely make them aware of your hearing needs. This will help them to understand what you need to enjoy the activity you are taking part in. If you’re video chatting you can also let people know that you may need people to speak one at a time and make sure you can see their face clearly if you lipread.
  3. Choosing a seat at the dinner table: Round dinner tables are the best if you are a lipreader because you can see everyone’s face and it will help you to keep up with conversations. If you find yourself at different shaped table, it is important to find the best place to position yourself e.g. centre of the table or the side in which you hear better. It also helps if the table area is well lit and any decorations in your line of sight are removed.
  4. Pick a dinner buddy: Try seating yourself next to a person who you can communicate with effectively, such as your partner,  who can help you if you miss bits and pieces of conversations. This will help you to feel more confident and included in the conversation.
  5. Find a quiet spot: Lipreading or communicating in noisy environments when you have hearing loss can be difficult and exhausting. Finding a quiet spot to have a conversation will help you to enjoy the experience more. It can also be a place for you to take a much-needed break away from the hustle and bustle of the occasion. Knowing when you need to take a step back will help you to rest your eyes (and ears!).

Useful links

Hearing LinkTaking time out


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