Group settings are a notoriously difficult listening situation for people with hearing loss. This is because there are usually multiple speakers fighting for your attention, and if you’re somewhere like a restaurant, you also have background noise like clanking dishes to contend with. To combat feelings of loneliness and social isolation, read our tips below on how to make the most of group settings when you have hearing loss.
Try these tips next time you’re at your favorite restaurant with a group:
- Dine somewhere with soft surfaces like drapes, tablecloths and carpet.
- Schedule a time during off-hours, after the lunch rush but before the dinner rush.
- Ask to be seated in a quiet booth, away from the kitchen and waiter’s station.
- Choose the best seat in the middle of the table.
- Put a friend next to you who can repeat any important information you may have missed.
- Kindly request that the music be turned down.
- Switch your hearing aids to the right program. You may need to ask your audiologist to create a program suitable for restaurant settings.
- Ask people to rephrase rather than repeat what they said.
- Take an FM system with a microphone to be passed around to each speaker.
Follow these guidelines when it comes to family get-togethers:
- Call the host ahead of time to talk about your communication needs, like not having background music or being seated at the center of the table.
- Bring a friend who can stick by your side and help you follow along with what is said.
- Have one-on-one conversations in a quiet corner of the house or yard.
- Stand close to your conversation partner and explain it is in order to hear them better.
- Be up front about your hearing loss and communication needs.
- Try to follow along with one speaker rather than everyone at the table.
- Bring an FM system and pass around the mic.
- Take breaks as needed if you start to feel fatigued.
Try these tips during the next wedding you attend:
- Communicate about your needs in your RSVP, including asking to be put at a quiet table or a table near the wedding party so you can hear the speeches.
- Choose a central seat at the table if it’s open seating.
- Bring your own assistive listening device.
- Use your smartphone as an amplifier or closed caption machine using apps like Live Listen or Chatable.
For more information on communication strategies or to schedule an appointment, call Victory Hearing & Balance today.