Thanksgiving tips for those with hearing loss

Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful for what we have, for eating (tons of) delicious food, and catching up with loved ones. For those with hearing loss, Thanksgiving can also bring added stress due to large group gatherings, background noise, and conversations that are fast and plentiful. We wanted to provide you with some tips on how to not only survive, but succeed this holiday season, with tips for those with hearing loss!

Accessorize

No matter how formal or informal the Thanksgiving gathering, wearing your hearing aids is always the right choice. Hearing aids make it easier for you to participate in social situations. If you have an additional accessory such as an FM system, ComPiolot, Connect Clip Microphone, or other assistive device, making sure you bring that along, and place it on the dinner table, can be a huge help with following along in the conversation.

Plan ahead before traveling

Thanksgiving is one of the most traveled holidays of the year. If you’re traveling home for the holidays, pack your hearing aid charger or extra hearing aid batteries in your hand-held luggage. If your baggage goes missing, you won’t miss out on the holiday fun.

Choose the best seat at the table

Along with turkey and pumpkin pie, conversation around the dinner table is a highlight of Thanksgiving gatherings. Choose a seat that lets you see faces while people are speaking. A spot with your back to the wall will help cut down on distracting background noise. Avoid conversations with people at a distance. You’ll be more relaxed chatting with the people seated closest to you.

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With a little help from your friends

Ask family and friends to help you join in the good times by speaking a little louder and clearer and facing you directly. Enlist a "hearing helper" to stay close and help fill in parts of the conversation you might miss. Encourage your host to turn down the volume of the music or football game on TV, so guests speak more naturally. Don’t bluff by nodding and pretending you hear. A simple gesture, like a hand to your ear, is often all the reminder people need to speak up or slow down.

Take a break when you need it

Keeping up with the conversation in noisy holiday settings can be challenging for everyone, but especially for people with hearing loss. Take a break from the crowd for a one-on-one conversation with someone you don’t see often enough.

We always recommend scheduling a check up with our team to make sure your hearing aids are in tip top shape before the big holiday! We have limited spots open on Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so make sure to reach out to reserve your space.

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Jody Vaynshtok

Jody is a California-licensed speech language pathologist with eight years of industry and clinical experience. She has worked with both adult and pediatric populations during her time at private practice, birth-to-three, and hospital facilities. She is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a variety of communication and cognitive disorders. In addition, Jody has a passion for working with adults looking to achieve clearer communication. Jody received her BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences and MS in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. She was a part of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford’s cleft and craniofacial clinic participating in the multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of children born with craniofacial abnormalities. She holds a staff position at UCSF and is the lead speech language pathologist for the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Hearing Loss Clinic. When she's not busy having fun with her clients Jody enjoys spending time with her husband, Anton, friends and family. And if she's not headed out somewhere fun for dinner, you might find her at Bar Method working out!