Tips for Dining Out

Most anyone enjoys a nice meal away from the home table occasionally. Not that I cannot put a decent meal on the table, but since my sweet husband does the clean up, he enjoys the break.  Do you have a favorite place that has perfect food and has a hearing loss friendly environment? Perhaps there is a place you might like to go more often but hearing there is impossible.  Let me share some old but proven tips on how to have an enjoyable meal at a place that is not familiar with your needs. This is a good exercise for personal advocacy of your hearing loss.

  1.  Call early for reservations or to explain your situation.  Most places are accommodating to special needs but you must tell them.  Request a quiet table and do not be ashamed to say why.  If when you arrive the seating is not optimal, do not be shy about asking for another.
  2. Request a corner table or along a wall.  The wall provides a barrier rather than being in the center of noise and distractions.  Better yet, choose a booth; one with a high back is a good choice.
  3. Be conscious of the facilities decor.  Look for sound absorbing carpet, curtains, cushioned chairs, cloth tablecloths.  The trendy style is hard surfaces which can create a challenge for us, but even then, keep reading for ways to still enjoy a meal at those establishments.
  4. Chose a quieter time of day for dining.  My husband and I have learned that a mid-afternoon or early evening time works well.  The bonus is two-fold.  There is less overall noise and the service is usually even better during those times.
  5. Remember to use your Cochlear wireless mini-mic2+ or other assistive listening devices that connect with your cochlear implant or hearing aids.  These will help block the background noise and allow you to enjoy table conversation without the stress.
  6. Tell others about the places that are accommodating and enjoyable.

Happy Valentines!  Eat lots of chocolate!

Gloria Evans, Cochlear recipient/bimodal with ReSound