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      Deaf-friendly products and technology to help relieve loneliness

      Over nine million people in the UK are either always or often lonely. We know that hearing loss can be sometimes be socially isolating, so this Loneliness Awareness Week we want to encourage anyone with hearing loss who feels lonely to take action. We’ve products and technology to help you, or a loved one, join in again and enjoy a better quality of life.

      By: Sally Bromham | 13 June 2019

      Loneliness Awareness Week is an annual campaign organised by the Marmalade Trust to reduce the stigma around loneliness and encourage a society where it’s spoken about openly and normally. Loneliness Awareness Week is taking place from 17 – 21 June 2019 and we want to help anyone with hearing loss who sometimes feels socially isolated to join in again.

      Loneliness statistics

      Many people are experiencing loneliness and social isolation across the UK:

      • The UK is the loneliest country in Europe (UK government survey 2017)
      • Over nine million people in the UK are either always or often lonely (Co-op and British Red Cross)
      • Loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Brigham Young University)
      • For 3.6 million people aged 65 and over, TV is their main form of company (Age UK)
      • 50% of disabled people will be lonely on any given day (Sense)
      • Eight out of 10 carers have felt lonely or isolated as a result of looking after a loved one (Carers UK).

      Deafness, hearing loss and loneliness

      If you are deaf or have hearing loss, loneliness can be a daily reality. Even when you’re around other people it can still feel isolating, as background noise often makes it difficult to follow conversations and other people may not know the best ways to communicate. Charles Swinbourne, Editor of The Limping Chicken deaf blog and news site, said: “From my experience, loneliness is something that many deaf people have felt at various moments in their life. It could even be said to be a common experience for deaf people, particularly when growing up”.

      Loneliness at work

      A large proportion of the UK’s five million working-age people with hearing loss feel lonely and isolated at work. Our Working for Change survey found that, 65% of people with hearing loss said they felt isolated at work and 47% felt lonely. The report from the Jo Cox ‘Commission on Loneliness, Combating loneliness one conversation at a time’, presents some shocking statistics, including the finding that loneliness costs businesses £2.5bn a year through the harm it does to workers or the people they care for. The Commission found that the costs mount up from lost days, low productivity and high staff turnover.

      Products and technology to help combat loneliness

      This Loneliness Awareness Week we want to encourage people who are deaf or have hearing loss to recognise loneliness in themselves, or a loved one, and feel inspired to do something about it. We’ve products and technology to help you feel less isolated and enjoy a better quality of life.

      Never miss another phone call

      If you, or a loved one, struggle to hear the phone ring, or strain to follow conversations, it can feel lonely and isolating. An amplified home phone will put the joy back into phone calls and make it easier to stay in touch with friends and family. With an extra-loud ringer you won't have to worry about missing calls, and the adjustable handset volume will make conversations clearer and easier to hear. Plus, many phones are compatible with hearing aids on the ‘T’ setting. Read our Top 10 phones for hearing loss blog and download our handy home telephones factsheet.

      • Cordless phones – If you like making and taking calls wherever you are in the house, you’ll love the freedom and flexibility of a cordless phone.
      • Corded phones – We’ve corded phones for every budget and lifestyle that are suitable for up to severe hearing loss.

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      Hear more clearly with your hearing aids

      It’s important to make sure your hearing aids are working properly so you can communicate better with friends and family, do your job more easily and get the most out of life. Keeping your hearing aids in tip-top condition means you’ll not only hear more clearly, you’ll also reduce the risk of infection. Plus, they’ll last longer, saving you money and reducing the number of trips to your audiologist. We’ve dozens of useful products to help you look after your hearing aids. From cleaning tablets, drying capsules and storage boxes, to maintenance packs and toolsets.

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      Put the joy back into watching TV

      Do you, or a loved one, miss out on your favourite TV programmes because you struggle to hear what’s being said, especially when there’s background music? Feeling excluded from what’s going on the world can be lonely and isolating. If you use hearing aids but don’t want to wear a neckloop to watch TV, a hearing loop is a great solution. You’ll be able to hear the TV directly through your hearing aids on the loop or ‘T’ setting anywhere in the room. It will also amplify close-range conversations so you can chat to friends and family more easily.

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      Join in every conversation

      Are you finding it increasingly difficult to join in conversations, family gatherings and work meetings? There’s no need for people with deafness and hearing loss to miss out. A personal amplifier can be life changing. It makes speech clearer by reducing background noise, and you can tailor the sound to suit your needs using the tone and volume controls. Simply point the device in the direction of the sound you need to hear, and it will amplify the conversation and transfer it to your hearing aids, or ears, via your preferred listening option.

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      Find out more
      To see our full range of products and technology to relieve loneliness, please visit the webshop. You can also contact our expert Customer Services team who will advise on the best solution for you, or a loved one:
      Telephone 03330 144 525
      Textphone 03330 144 530
      Email solutions@hearingloss.org.uk
      Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.

      We’re the only UK charity with a full range of products for people living with deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus, so we’re the ideal source of impartial advice. And every purchase means that you’re helping fund research to cure hearing loss within a generation.

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      Recent Posts

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      Over 700 of you have written to your MP, asking them to protect your local NHS audiology service. We held an event in Parliament on 26 June and MPs from constituencies across England dropped by to hear why hearing aids are a lifeline – and should be protected on the NHS.

      By: Jess McNulty
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