Please Pass the Pie!

Please pass the pie!

Now that you’ve finished your shopping, chosen the wines, cleaned the house, baked the pies, and taken out the platters, let’s add one more thing to your holiday preparations: plan how you can make it easier for your guests who have some hearing loss to fully partake in the conversation.

Folks with hearing loss may have challenges hearing conversation at the holiday table. The table is bigger, more than one conversation may be happening at the same time, and yes, people chatter while chewing.

As host, we can take a few easy thoughtful steps to facilitate communication for those who need a little extra help. Here are a few tips:

  • Strategic seating: Place these guests mid-table – so they are nearer to more people. Since hearing aids favor the direction they’re facing, try to have their backs to the wall.
  • Bright lights: Good lighting offers information through facial expressions and lips; combining input through both ears and eyes is helpful.
  • Slow down: Speak at a normal volume and pace. Pronounce with care, and yes, finish chewing first!
  • Face to face: Direct face to face conversation is easier to follow. You’ll have a more meaningful satisfying conversation if the other person is free to think and react, and not working so hard just to capture the words.
  • Kiddie table: If this works for your family, sometimes a separate children’s table will free the adults for quieter, and more adult conversation.
  • Move the conversation: In our family some folks hang around the table long after the meal is done, while others move to a quieter room, and others like to go out for that post-meal walk. Setting up chairs and food in different areas makes this easier to naturally flow.
  • Football time-out: For many, the Thanksgiving game is part of the tradition. But be sure there is space for easier listening away from the background sound of football.

Enjoy the holidays!

Good conversation, sharing memories, making memories is what makes all that cooking worth the effort.