A Quinnipiac University study emphasizes the importance of social engagement to reduce risks to severe mental and physical health conditions and the critical role staying connected plays in maintaining and preventing them. Social distancing and shelter-in-place restrictions due to COVID-19 have created challenges for the elderly and those suffering from hearing loss to remain socially active. Because we want to support the ongoing health of our hearing aid users living in Ohio and Michigan, we at Beltone have compiled a list of options and activities to help stay connected with loved ones despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Why Is It Important to Stay Connected?
Before getting into the list, it is essential to understand the importance of staying connected. Welbi reports that the risks of social isolation and loneliness include:
- 59% higher risk of physical and mental health decline
- 64% higher risk of dementia
- 44% increase in depression
- Increased use of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes
To overcome these risks and their devastating consequences, it is necessary to find a balance between complying with government-imposed restrictions while staying connected with loved ones. Our list of suggested options and activities provide ideas for maintaining that balance.
Regular “Check-Ins” on the Telephone
Hearing your loved one’s voice is one of the most powerful means of preventing isolation and loneliness. Consequently, not only do regular check-ins help reassure your loved ones that you are doing well, but they also give your mental and physical health a boost. Specialized instruments like Beltone Phone Link 2 and Smart Remote enhance using the telephone so that you can enjoy a clear, crisp connection with your loved one.
Email and Social Media
Staying connected with your loved ones is possible using email and social media. Basic email allows you to write a letter and attach digital photos, which you can send to loved ones. Some email applications like Google and MSN also will enable you to chat live with friends and family through text messaging. Sometimes just knowing that a live person is responding to you is comforting. Social media applications like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and others allow similar live messaging options as well as photo, video, audio options that will enable you to see, hear and interact with your loved ones as well.
Learn How to Video Chat
Video conferencing has been a tool used by companies with multiple branches located across the country or around the world to unite employees and hold meetings. Many families and groups like churches, community groups, and classes have turned to using video conferencing to stay in contact and continue their regular activities. In most cases, to engage in video chat using WebEx, Zoom, and FaceTime is simple to learn. This allows you to see and interact with your friends, family, and social groups to help prevent isolation.
Stay Connected with Beltone Hearing Aids
On its own, hearing loss tends to drive individuals into social isolation, remedied through hearing aid use. Besides providing ongoing technical support for your hearing aids through remote access, we are here to encourage our hearing aid customers to stay connected with us as well as their loved ones. Contact us to learn more about our various options to support connecting with your loved ones or for technical support in the Ohio and Michigan areas from Belton Hearing Aids.