Discover methods to decrease feelings of social isolation for people with hearing loss.
Feeling connected to others helps add joy and a sense of community to our lives. Experiencing hearing loss can feel isolating on its own, but it becomes something more when combined with the social isolation many are facing during this pandemic, when in person face-to-face interactions are less feasible.
Fortunately, new technology can help combat feelings of isolation for people of all hearing abilities, by providing new ways of staying in touch even when we can’t be together. Particularly for people with hearing loss, technology can help bridge the gap and keep us connected with the important people in our lives.
Here are some of the top ways of combating feelings of isolation with hearing loss:
- Attend virtual events
- Play games on social apps
- Become a regular in a hobby group or forum
- Call friends and family with a captioned phone
- Have a face-to-face communication plan
- Use hearing-assistive technology
- Connect the old-fashioned way
Below, learn more about these ways to break the barriers of hearing loss and social isolation!
Attend virtual events
Many people are in the same boat right now with not being able to attend events in person. Virtual events are a great way to enjoy things like lectures, art shows, comedy, plays, painting sessions, career tips and networking, and more. Another perk is that online events can often accommodate hearing loss with captioned videos. Invite people you know to attend too, or interact with fellow attendees in discussion sections, that often promote typed “chats” back and forth, rather than relying on hearing. Check what online events are happening soon on EventBrite.
Play games on social apps
Pull out a tablet, smartphone, or computer for some interactive game fun! Words With Friends lets you play a Scrabble-style game with friends or strangers. There’s also Houseparty, which has gotten popular during the era of social distancing—you can use this app to video-chat friends or grandkids and play a game like Pictionary or charades.
Become a regular in a hobby group or forum
What are you passionate about? Whether it’s photography, sports, woodworking, crafting, or a myriad of other things, you can be confident there are thousands of people who share the interest with you. To find them, try searching on Google or Facebook for your interests with terms like “forum” or “group” (e.g., “photography forum,” “crafting group,” etc.) You’ll instantly find some of the best communities to trade tips, ask questions, and chat with like-minded folks.
Call friends and family with a captioned phone
Hearing loss often keeps people from enjoying phone conversations, making it hard to stay connected with friends and family who live at a distance. CapTel Captioned Telephones make it easy to re-connect over the phone, making sure you catch every word of the conversation. With captioned telephones you can listen to your caller and see word-for-word captions of what they say on the display screen. See our selection of captioned telephones to choose the best fit for you.
Use hearing-assistive technology
There are many different types of assistive technologies that can help people with hearing loss feel less socially isolated. You may choose to wear a headset while watching TV so you can stay up-to-date and never miss a word of a newscast, or purchase external speakers that can boost your computer’s sound when you’re video chatting with friends or attending an online event.
Many people with hearing loss also find that hearing aids are a great way to combat feelings of isolation. They allow you to tune out background noise and focus on conversations more effectively. Here’s some essential information to know about hearing aids. If you’re interested in trying hearing aids, visit your audiologist and ask about the best options for you.
Connect the old-fashioned way
There are also ways of combating feelings of isolation with hearing loss and stay in touch with the people who matter to you that don’t require any technology! Take the time to write a letter or card to a friend or family member, or exchange small gifts through the mail. You can also make new connections by finding a pen pal who you can keep in touch with online or by sending letters or postcards through traditional mail.