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Social Outings with a Hearing-Impaired Senior

Adventures in Eldercare    July 2024

My in-laws are both 90 years old and they still enjoy dining out once or twice a month. Over the years we have learned that a few simple methods and pre-planning make every outing safer and more enjoyable.  My father-in-law only has 30% hearing and that is with hearing aides, this makes dining out more challenging but certainly not impossible.

Social outings to busy restaurants with a hearing-impaired senior can be enjoyable with proper planning. With a bit of pre-planning, a visit to the local café or the Swiss Chalet can be a positive experience for all involved.

1.       Go early.  Fortunately, many seniors like to eat early in the evening. Make your reservations before the usual crowds arrive. A reservation at 5 pm is easy to get, just about anywhere. An early lunch at 11:30 would also be preferable to the 12 to one lunch rush.

2.       Make sure the facility is aware that you will be bringing a senior and that they have hearing issues. Ask at this point to be seated in the quietest area of the restaurant, away from speakers playing music or large groups of diners.

3.       When the server arrives at the table let them know the senior is hearing impaired and ask the server to speak clearly and speak directly to the hearing impaired individual.

4.       If the senior has one bad ear and one worse ear, sit on the side that has the better hearing.

5.       Do not talk over each other at the dinner table. If there are four people sitting do not divide into two conversations. When this happens, the hearing-impaired senior will be less likely to understand either conversation.

6.       Sit directly across and speak clearly and loudly.


Adventures in Eldercare is written by Dr. Bruce Veltri. Dr. Veltri is co-owner and founder of Victoria Eldercare. More information and many more articles reflecting on the Senior Experience can be found in the Senior Resources section of our web-site, 

You can also contact me directly at



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