Educate Guests on Hearing Loss Etiquette

Hearing loss can be very isolating, and frustrating. Especially for elderly, who may not move as well as years past. Here are some simple reminders to assist communications for all.

— Let people know your communication needs. Self-advocating is the key. People in general may not realize you have hearing loss. Don’t be shy to make your communication needs known. Others want to have meaningful conversations with you too and will be happy to follow your guidance.

— Enlist help. At gatherings, have a hearing friend or family member help remind others of your communication needs. Strategies like facing someone when speaking, keeping hands away from their mouth, and tapping someone’s shoulder before talking, are extremely helpful. This enables everyone to be part of the discussion.

— Provide instruction printouts for activities: Does your family enjoy playing games during the holidays? Try group games that do not require a lot of listening and that have visual cues such as charades, Pictionary, or card games. Consider printing out instructions for these activities ahead of time or offer to read aloud the rules to everyone. This way, everyone will be on the same page with easy-to-reference rules.

— Consider video calls: If you can’t be together in person this holiday season, consider connecting through a video call platform like Facetime or Zoom. Video calls have the added bonus of being able to see everyone’s facial expressions. If the video call has a captioning feature, ask the host to turn captions on. If not, you can call in with a captioned telephone to see captions of what everyone says during the call.

Whether you’re hosting or attending a holiday gathering this season, keep these tips in mind for a fun, accessible experience for everyone.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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