Christmas is near and if you're thinking about ho-ho-hosting your own party, it's time to start planning!
It's essential that you have the details of your soiree sorted out to ensure that all your guests have a great time and no one feels left out. Therefore, if you have any guests who have hearing loss you'll need to take this into consideration to improve the flow of the party. Here are some tips around planning a party to make sure all are included.
People who have hearing loss are likely to depend more on visual cues. If you have a seating arrangement set up, you can position them so they are surrounded by others they are familiar with, who know they use a hearing aid. Position them in a seat where they can see many of th eother guests – though they may not necessarily be able to lip read, they can associate the movement of people's lips better with sound.
If your party of guests aren't familiar with your home, tack up a quick sign that points to the bathroom. It's a huge time-saver and saves people interrupting conversations to ask for directions.
Let there be light
Even if it's evening, don't dim the lights. Lip readers and non-lip readers alike will rely on being able to see clearly to get full comprehension of their surroundings. To create ambience, try some scented candles or incense to set a mood.
Keep the table clear of any big centrepieces, that may hide people's faces when talking to one another. Think of it as an open-plan party, to make sure everyone is included.
Move it to music
Music can get tricky, because while you don't want to have a complete party in silence, you also don't want to turn it into a complex soundscape for any guests with hearing loss. Having background music playing can turn a simple conversation into a complex soundscape, especially if you're in a small room where sounds bounce off each other. Opening up your windows and patio doors can not only make a small room seem more spacious, but will also let streams of sound dissipate, rather than containing it all to a room.
Avoid reaching towards your fancy surround sound system here – instead, have a corner away from the main dining area where you'll play music softly. You can always whip out your surround sound speakers to play songs that vibrate throughout the room when it's time to get a boogie on.
Wave the flag
If you need to get everyone's attention, don't go clinking that glass just yet! It's better if you create a physical distraction, such as waving a flag or a napkin. That way, the movement will draw everyone towards you, rather than excluding those that may not be able to hear the glass.
Charades or Pictionary are games that include guests of all hearing abilities.
Stay away from the classic party games that require music as a cue. Pass the Parcel and Musical Chairs are always great fun, but not so much if a guest is straining their ears to play. There are plenty of fun games that are inclusive. Try something that focuses on visual actions, such as Charades or Pictionary. They're equally as enjoyable and will quickly break the ice of any party.
Looking out for your loved ones
Of course, any guests that attend your party should hopefully come with the correct hearing solutions. It can make a big difference, especially in how comfortable they feel socialising.
If you know they're yet to get help, a gentle word and offer of support can go a long way. Just give us a call on 1800 646 168 for more information, or click here to make a booking for a no cost* hearing test.