One of the feelings millions of us are experiencing during the current coronavirus pandemic is loneliness. In our combined efforts to stay safe and save lives, our usual ways of seeing family, friends or just familiar faces have been put on pause.
Being hard of hearing can make it difficult to access the technology we use to overcome the physical distances and barriers we now must have. For example you may be unable to lip-read or hear enough when people are wearing masks. Perhaps you or a loved one do not have the ability to communicate with the outside world via phone, or even watch television easily.
Its been reported that one in four people said they had feelings of loneliness during the current crisis, however one in 10 people reported having the same feeling prior to the pandemic, In a matter of weeks, social distancing left millions more people in the UK feeling isolated.
Many of us feel lonely from time to time and these short-term feelings shouldn’t harm our mental health. However, the longer the pandemic goes on for, the more these feelings become long-term.
The government is telling us to stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work, to stay two metres (six feet) away from other people and wash our hands as soon as we get home.
We need to adapt how we connect with people and find new ways to stay in touch during this time. Now, more than ever, is the time to keep up those strong social networks that act like a buffer against poor mental health.
Staying in touch via video calls, Whatsapp or just regular phone calls, is vital. Keeping a connection with the outside world by watching TV and listening to the radio also helps. Keep up your routines where possible – we have products that can help people stay connected, know that someone is visiting or even just be able to hear the news etc.