Position yourself in a good spot: It is very helpful to have a wall behind you to block the background noise. Try to sit near the middle of the table, it gives you a better chance of hearing conversations. If it is not a sit down dinner, try to find a quieter area of the room away from music and areas where the high traffic will be. If there are multiple rooms used to eat, head to the quieter room. Invite some friends to dine with you, they will enjoy the quieter area also.

When possible avoid background noise: When hosting yourself, keep music to a minimum, or if someone else is the host ask them to adjust the volume. This is also a solution if dining out, ask the restaurant to lower the volume on their music.

Talk with those near you: Don’t try to participate in conversations across a large distance. If you would like to converse with someone, move closer or ask to continue the conversation when you can be closer. If there is more than one room ask the person to move to a quieter room.

Be sure to wear your hearing aids: Experiment with different settings to find which one works best for you. Practice at home so you don’t have to spend time at the event experimenting. It will also give you time to get use to the new setting.

Be reasonable about your expectations: Enjoy talking to the people that are near you. You won’t be able to hear everything but that is ok.

Step away and take a break: Take a break from the party to give your ears and brain a rest. Go to the restroom or find a quieter room, or just go outside for a few minutes. It helps to clear your head and gives you more energy for another round of socializing.

Don’t pretend you can hear: So many times, the hard of hearing, just nod at what people are saying or just laugh because others are laughing. But if someone is asking you a question this could be embarrassing, because you won’t be able to answer if you didn’t really hear them. Be honest when having trouble hearing.

If you are having trouble hearing, give visual clues: Cup your hand to your ear to indicate you cannot hear, the speaker will know to speak louder.

Have a sense of humor: When you feel you are missing out on the fun, keep it in perspective, try to laugh and be grateful for the wonderful family and friends you are sharing Thanksgiving with. You can partake of the good feelings even if you can’t hear every word they say. Just enjoy the moment.