7 ways to include everyone in the holiday cheer

Published 9:00 am Sunday, November 27, 2016

Holidays bring get-togethers filled with music, food and conversation. However, for those who experience hearing loss, the season often takes on a whole different sound. Those with hearing loss often end up feeling isolated from the festivities, but there are ways you can make sure they feel comfortable joining the fun.

A survey by Rayovac, which was conducted online by Harris Poll, found that 56 percent of Americans say talking and catching up with family members is their favorite part of family gatherings, but nearly one out of every five (19 percent) say they have experienced difficulty communicating with someone who is hard of hearing.



If you’ll be escorting a family member with hearing loss to a holiday event, be sure their hearing devices are in good operating condition with batteries that are able to power all of the device’s features, like Rayovac. The hearing aid battery company has also introduced the Gift of Hearing this holiday season, a campaign in which a portion of proceeds from its battery sales benefit the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

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This holiday season, make the most of the opportunity to share quality conversations with loved ones who have trouble hearing by following these simple tips from Shari Eberts of livingwithhearingloss.com:

Get their attention before speaking by saying their name or tapping them on the shoulder.

Give some context as to the topic of the conversation to help them infer.

Make sure they can see your lips. Stand in a well-lit area and be sure you are facing them directly, with your hand away from your face while talking.

Know that background noise can provide difficult distractions. If you’re hoping for more than a passing greeting, find a quiet place where you can visit comfortably.

Enunciate as you talk, but avoid the temptation to speak overly slowly. Instead, speak at a moderate but steady rate.

Be patient and be prepared to repeat or rephrase your comments.

Remember that if you are feeling frustrated, your partner in conversation may be, too. Keep your sense of humor so you can enjoy the holiday together.

Learn more about The Gift of Hearing campaign, and find hearing aid batteries designed with the latest technology in mind, at Rayovac.com.