We are living and working through a very challenging time. This isn’t the first global pandemic. It is, however, the first time for many of us to experience this level of disruption to our day to day lives.
Social distancing is becoming the norm. For many of us, this translates into keeping our distance from friends and family. For those who experience symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been in contact with someone who has, social isolation is recommended.
These measures are not going without impact. According to a study carried out by the University of Phoenix, 40% of Americans are lonelier than ever before. Even more alarming is that 19% of respondents highlighted that if social distancing measures continue, it will affect their mental health.
Hearing Loss and Loneliness
People with hearing loss may be more likely to feel loneliness. This is particularly noted when the hearing loss is untreated. Social distancing can worsen these feelings. If you have a hearing loss, we’re here to reassure you that social distancing doesn’t need to mean social isolation.
Over 9 million Americans over 65 suffer from hearing loss in the United States. A further 10 million aged 45 – 64 struggle with a form of hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss can result in serious emotional and social repercussions. Studies have looked at how hearing loss in an aging population relates to feelings of loneliness, depression and isolation. A common result emerges: untreated hearing loss is likely to worsen these feelings.
In these pressing times of social distancing, friends and family with hearing loss likely feel more isolated than ever before.
Staying Connected During a Pandemic
Social distancing is affecting us all. To help avoid feelings of loneliness, it’s important to reach out and connect with friends and family as much as possible. It could be something as simple as a quick video call to check in. Just seeing a friendly face can help lift your mood.
If you know someone with a hearing loss, take a moment to check in on them. It’s quite possible that they are experiencing heightened feelings of isolation.
If you wear hearing aids, it’s important to continue to wear them during this time. Many modern hearing aids include connectivity functionality that makes communication easier. Connectivity products can help connect you to your smart devices.
Staying connected with friends and family is a great way to help avoid feelings of loneliness. Why not try:
- Video call – Set up a video call with friends and family! Turn it into a family games night. Test your knowledge with a fun trivia session.
Some of the more popular video chat applications, such as Zoom or Skype, offer automatic captions. This can make hearing the conversation much easier if you do have a hearing loss.
- Daily check ins – Pick a friend or family member (or multiple!) and commit to a daily check in. This can be as simple as a “Hey, how’s it going” text message?
We are all experiencing ups and downs during this pandemic. Daily check ins can help establish a routine in your day, and keep you connected. Not to mention if you’re having a down day, you’ll be thankful for that daily check in.
- Writing a letter – There’s something special about receiving a handwritten letter in the post. Why not dust off the pen and paper, and write a letter to a friend or family.
- Joining a virtual group – What are your hobbies? Are you interested in learning a new hobby? Joining a virtual group is a great way to share ideas and interests. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with people who share your interests.
These simple ideas can help you stay connected and avoid feelings of isolation during this trying time. Remember: We will get through this, together.
At Anderson Audiology, We’re Here to Help You!
We are a full-service audiology practice committed to improving your quality of life through better hearing. If you’d like to learn more about protecting your hearing at home during this pandemic, please refer to our Hearing Loss Prevention guide here. We look forward to welcoming you back to our clinics soon.