Strategies for Dining Out with Hearing Loss, PTSD, TBI, Autism, Alz

Posted by mmyatt01757 @mmyatt01757, Oct 2, 2019

New topic because everything shouldn’t be under ‘introduce yourself.’ Someone mentioned sitting with your back to the wall in a restaurant – makes sense. I want a new web site, It is a restaurant reservation website – The Purple Table Reservation flag and restaurant training program are designed for those who are living with Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism, PTSD, TBI, a hearing or vision impairment, or other physical or cognitive condition that may benefit from a more predictable environment and additional accommodations when dining out. When making a Purple Table reservation, you may provide the restaurant with further details. However no further detail is necessary, a Purple Table reservation is all that is needed.

There aren’t many restaurants listed – I think it is brand new. But if we all sign up for it the ‘hits’ may give it momentum.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

I want The Purple Table Reservation website to be successful.


The website goal is a good one but it is not working yet. It is young 🙂


@mmyatt01757, thanks for starting this new discussion. You'll notice that I expanded the title to include other situations where eating out needs might need strategies and planning. I also added this discussion to the Caregivers group as I think it will interest the members there too.
The purple Table Reservations website is very new. It looks like they charge restaurants to be listed on their site. It will take time to get it beyond Massachusetts where it seems to be focused right now.

Let's gather tips. What accommodations would you like restaurant staff to make when you're dining out? Help them understand your challenges better.


Turn down music or turn off in my section of restaurant. Seat me in quietest area available. Whether you sit with your back to the wall or back to the noise depends on your hearing aids. I avoid sitting next to a window or lots of glass due to reverberations. Booths can be slightly better. Avoid sitting next to noise such as AC, kitchen door. Bars can be good or bad depending on time of day. I schedule lunch meetings at 1 pm if I can as restaurants often start getting quieter with fewer people after 1 pm. Similarly plan to eat early or late to avoid the noise of a busy restaurant or bar. Restaurants with carpet, tablecloths, or other fabric will be quieter than those with all hard surfaces. You can also review restaurants for loudness and check on which are quieter on apps, including Soundprint, i HEAR u, or OpenTable.


Another strategy, if it is too loud to hear the server, especially the specials, hand the server a remote blue tooth mic if you have one that works with your hearing aids. My husband and friends are also good about telling me about specials they know I'd be interested in. Or I ask the server to come over and tell me individually due to a hearing loss. Of course it can be too loud to hear even then!

Also use (or get) a speech in noise program on your hearing aids. I keep having my audiologist tweak my hearing aid programs, trying to find the best way to hear in noise – which is everyone's major problem and one the hearing aid manufacturers have not really solved, though they are making some headway. When I upgraded to my Oticon Opn, for the first time I could hear the server in a loud BBQ restaurant we liked.

When you make reservations, ask for a quiet area due to hearing loss. It sometimes helps. I put this on Open Table reservations. Be specific if you know the restaurant. I have one friend who finds the quietest table, then finds out what the table number is that the servers use. She uses that information when making reservations to be sure she gets that quiet table each time. I might ask for a booth or sometimes for an outside table which can be quieter.

As you can tell, I eat out a lot!


The Purple Table reservation would be a great website to utilize however it is not available nationwide. If you want your favorite restaurant to join – have them be a part of it and showcase their place on it so other hard of hearing/deaf people can join you in their place. This way they understand that you enjoy their place when working to have them accommodate your/our hearing loss needs. This gives them a sign of approval that they are found on this special website and is passed on by word of mouth to others. Its like a 'TripAdvisor award' for them that others find and utilize across the United States. It also helps us if we travel outside our comfort zone and want to know where there are places that help us eat and hear well. Let's get this special website moving from one state to all states….it will do us all something good.

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