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The coronavirus outbreak in the UK has meant fundamental changes to most of our lives.

In many circumstances families are not able to give and receive the assistance they have become used to. For their own safety, vulnerable and elderly people are advised to isolate themselves, meaning communication for those who are also hard of hearing is difficult and reliant on technology.

In other circumstances we may be spending more time than ever before in close proximity to our loved ones with hearing difficulties, or perhaps realising the strain of living with hearing loss.

Whether you are hard of hearing and living on your own, or living with others, we have compiled some ideas to help you during this time.

  • Establish a routine with phone call communication. Arrange your communications at regular times (perhaps daily at 4pm for example). This means that both parties are prepared and ready, and it gives everyone something to look forward to. If you are hard of hearing then you know to listen out for the phone at the appropriate time, rather than worrying that you may have missed a call.
  • Use video calls where possible. Hearing is easier if you can see the face of the speaker. In theory this means video calling is preferable for those who are hard of hearing. However, take care not to have too many people on the call (leading to confusion about who is speaking).
  • Don’t force new technology. Despite the advice regarding video calls, if you are not familiar with the technology then don’t be disappointed if you can’t get to grips with it. Try and establish a routine using the technology you are used to (perhaps a hearing loop or extra-loud phone) before slowly working up to something different.
  • Support yourself with devices for the hard of hearing that allow you to enjoy the TV and listening to music. If you are having difficulties hearing clearly, then this ‘lockdown’ situation may make it more obvious to you and to your relatives, because you are watching more TV and spending time together. Purchase a simple system to help hear, rather than struggle with all the family trying to control the volume!
  • Ensure that alerts and alarms (such as the doorbell and the smoke alarm) sufficiently alert you. If you are isolated in the house for a long period of time then it is important that these alerts are heard or seen, whatever the level of your hearing loss.

We have selected a range of products to help you during the lockdown period. View our Living in Isolation products here.

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