Hearing loss can be a lonely experience, and one that often only increases over time if the level of loss progresses.
In Australia, 3 out of 4 people over the age of 70 will experience hearing loss, yet just 25 per cent of those who need hearing aids will actually use them, according to the Deafness Forum of Australia*. This can lead to an increased risk of both social isolation and loneliness, says the group.
When many of those around you have no problems with their hearing, it can feel isolating no matter how helpful and understanding they are, which is why a group or community specifically set up for those with hearing loss may be an idea worth investigating.
There are a huge number of organisations around Australia, both online and in person, that you can join to meet with and talk to others going through the same experiences. These range from groups for deaf persons and those with any level of hearing loss to communities set up for the families and friends of those with hearing loss.
These groups are the perfect way to connect with others in your local area and around the country to share tips, stories and thoughts – and simply to socialise.
The Australian Communication Exchange is one such group that strives to connect Australians with hearing loss. The organisation is a national not-for-profit and the country's leading organisation for the deaf, hearing- and speech-impaired communities, according to the company's website*.
Another group dedicated to helping people hear better and creating communities is Better Hearing Australia*. This self-help organisation is run by its members, is a not-for-profit and offers support to everyone linked to hearing loss, whether that's as sufferers themselves or loved ones of people with hearing loss.
The Deafness Forum of Australia brings together a lot of these groups for community members to search for an organisation suited to them, so you can search their organisation page to find one for you.
*Deafness Forum. It's never too late to hear better. Accessed December 9 2014. Available here.
*Australian Communication Exchange. About Us. Accessed December 9 2014. Available here.
*Better Hearing Australia. Welcome to Better Hearing Australia. Accessed December 9 2014. Available here.