The Sound of Resilience: Strategies for Maintaining Social Connections After Hearing Loss
If left untreated, hearing loss can be isolating. The more difficult it becomes to hear the people around you when you talk, the less incentive you have to interact with them. And the more you withdraw from society, the harder it is to reengage and feel connected.
However, with the right hearing devices and strategies, this can be avoided. By making the effort to accommodate your new communication needs and getting professional support, your relationships can continue to thrive for many years to come.
Practical Strategies for Socializing with Hearing Loss
On top of using hearing aids, keeping in mind some simple communication guidelines for talking to family, friends, and others can make a world of difference. Where possible, try to talk to people one-on-one and stand face-to-face.
You can also ask people to sit on the side with better hearing, but make sure you still have an open view of their face while they speak. These are just some simple starting points, and we’ve added other ways you can smooth out communications when socializing below.
Empower Yourself Through Lip Reading
If you can, practice lip reading – it can be a helpful support tool, especially when there is a noisy environment that’s out of your control. Where possible, choose a quiet place without much background noise for get-togethers.
You could also opt for video calls instead of voice calls wherever possible. Talking on the phone can be a challenge with hearing loss, but seeing someone’s face gives you more clues to follow. Don’t be shy about asking people to slow down or repeat themselves if you need to.
Choose Your Environment Wisely
Wherever you can, choose the best environment for your social engagements. This is not just about being comfortable – it’s also about picking a space that will enable you to communicate more effectively.
For example, the lighting in your rooms plays an important role in enabling supportive communication, such as reading body language. It will also make it easier for you to lip-read. Even small details, like a room being carpeted, can help reduce background noise.
Education, Education, Education
Although it might feel like a challenge, it’s important to educate others – especially close family and those you interact with regularly – about your hearing loss and communication needs. By making people mindful of a few simple concepts, you can make your social interactions flow much more easily.
Fostering a sense of understanding will also help to smooth over miscommunications. Talk about your needs with family and friends and advocate for yourself when needed. It’s also important to be cognisant and understanding of how your needs impact others, without invalidating them.
If you are a family member or friend of someone who uses hearing assistive devices, take the initiative to find out more on your own rather than placing the burden of education on the person. When in doubt, ask them for their personal preferences. It’s unlikely that it will be a drastic change for you, but it can make a big impact.
Tapping Into Technological Solutions & Support Systems
One of the best things you can do for yourself when hearing loss develops is to fit a hearing aid. Working with a qualified hearing aid specialist, like the team at HearWell, will enable you to compensate for even light hearing loss and maintain a good quality of life from the outset.
Discreet Listening Devices
There might be a stigma associated with getting a hearing aid, especially for a younger person, but modern hearing aid technology is discreet and often invisible. We can advise you on which hearing assistance devices will best suit your hearing loss and lifestyle.
There are many hearing aid accessories that can connect you to even more in your world. Many modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to connect directly to your phone for calls, for example. This also allows you to connect to devices that link directly to your television audio, making watching your favorite series or movies clear and worry-free.
Seek Social Support
Reaching out to a support group for people with hearing loss can be a wonderful way to make new connections. Regular meetings give you an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize, and you’ll also meet many people who intimately understand what you’re going through.
And, of course, when you have to exert extra effort to communicate all the time, it can be exhausting. Be aware of listening fatigue, and give yourself quiet time, too. Make time each day to take a hearing break in a quiet place, even for just a few minutes.
Get Support & Foster the Connections That Matter With HearWell
At HearWell Services, we understand that hearing loss doesn’t only affect your auditory system; it affects your whole life. Keeping up your social interactions and a busy daily schedule is essential for your mental well-being.
By taking proactive steps to improve communication and strengthen important relationships in your life, you can navigate this new stage with confidence. We are here to support you at every step.
For a thorough hearing assessment and expert advice on the latest hearing devices, book a hearing consultation at HearWell Services today.