Holidays and family gatherings

Celebrations of the holidays and other family gatherings can be a challenge for a person who is hard of hearing. It is also at such occasions that relatives often notice that someone close might have a hearing loss.

Families often meet at the holidays or to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. There are often many people at such events with multiple people speaking at the same time, resulting in a lot of background noise.

For a person who is hard of hearing, it can be difficult to follow a conversation. At the same time, they will often feel tired as they have to use many resources in an attempt to follow what others are saying.

An age-related hearing loss develops gradually and often in such a way that the person who experiences a hearing loss does not notice at their hearing is getting worse. For people in their 60s or 70s, it is normal for hearing to get worse as this is a part of ageing.

Signs to look for

It is often at family events that relatives notice that their mother or father, grandmother or grandfather or uncle or aunt could have a hearing loss.

If you notice that a person is not really following the conversation, misunderstands what is being said, removes themselves from the conversation, seems absent or tired, this can be a sign of a hearing problem.

Hearing problems can also be seen when the person has trouble understanding what young children or women are saying. Children and women’s voices are typically higher than men’s and with an age-related hearing loss, it is these tones which are affected.

How to help

It might seem like a good idea to tackle the problem right away. Don’t do that.

It is much better to wait until you can be alone and there is more calm. You can then tell the person in a friendly and caring manner, what you have experienced and mention that they could be hard of hearing. You should also tell them that hearing loss is very common, especially if the person is a little older and suggest that they have a hearing test carried out by a hearing care professional.

If the hearing test shows that there is in fact a hearing loss, modern digital hearing aids can improve hearing. And with better hearing comes a better quality of life.


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