People with hearing loss commonly avoid social situations because they struggle to hear, and many experience loneliness and depression as a result. Now with social distancing guidelines in place, family members and friends with hearing loss are at an even higher risk for mental health issues as a result of loneliness. One study even found that loneliness was associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes daily.1
Now more than ever, it’s important to stay in contact with your family, friends, and community. Here are a few ways that you can stay connected while at home if you have hearing loss.
Try video chatting
Talking over the phone can be challenging for those with hearing loss who often rely on lip reading and other visual ques to understand. Video chatting can be a great alternative to phone conversations. With many video chat platforms offering free calls during this time of isolation, now is a great time to give it a try!
Video chatting allow you to see the person you’re talking to and most video calling platforms only allow one person’s mic to come through at a time, so you will not be hearing everyone in your conversation speak over each other. There are also chat boxes that you can use to ask people to repeat things if needed.
Here are a few different platforms that you try:
- Google Hangouts
- House Party
- Facetime (Apple devices only)
- Select social media platforms including:
Still unsure? Here are some tips for a successful video calling experience.
Connect on social media
Social platforms can be a great way to stay in touch with loved ones. Popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are encouraging users to share photos and videos of how they are finding ways to stay busy and have fun while at home. Many musicians, faith communities, and actors and comedians are even live streaming their events via social media in lieu of gathering together in person.
Take a virtual tour
Tired of hearing your spouse tell you to turn the tv down because the volume’s too loud? Why not turn off the tv and take a virtual tour instead.
Virtual tours are being offered for some of the biggest tourist hotspots around the world. Cross a few sites off your bucket list from the comfort of your couch! These virtual tours and live cameras are free and include museums, zoos, or even amusement parks.
- Parks, amusement parks, and zoos
Try an online workout class
Staying physically active is important for your hearing (and overall) health. But between the loud music and background noise, traditional workout classes can be frustrating if you have hearing loss. Gyms are offering free online workout classes that you and loved ones can do together. You can stream them from your cell phone, tablet, or smart tv. And if you have hearing aids that are able to connect to these devices, you can stream your class directly to your hearing aids!
- Stream free live yoga classes here
- CorePower live streamed classes
- Stream live local workout classes here
- Planet Fitness “Home work-ins”
- Spark People (does not require equipment)
Social distancing does not mean that you have to isolate yourself. Don’t go it alone and be open to trying new ways to virtually connect with loved ones. If you have questions or want to learn more about hearing loss or hearing aids, visit www.amplifonusa.com