Let's talk about ending loneliness

Posted by Matt Sadler

You may notice that we’re starting to talk more about the emotional impact that deafness and hearing loss can have and how our dogs help with this.

We’ve always promoted the practical benefits of our clever, highly trained dogs and what they do to alert their deaf partners to important and life-saving sounds. But our dogs do so much more and can have a remarkable effect on people’s mental wellbeing.

Geraldine and her hearing dog BellaWe often hear from our deaf partners that they have struggled with feelings of isolation or loneliness. In a recent survey of hearing dog partnerships, 86 per cent of people said they have experienced isolation because of their deafness, 75 per cent have experienced loneliness and 72 per cent have experienced both.

There may be several reasons for this. Some people may find it difficult to keep up with conversation because of their deafness. Others find that people avoid trying to communicate with them or leave them out of conversations – deliberately or otherwise. Some find that deafness or hearing loss makes them lose confidence, resulting in them withdrawing from social situations and disconnecting from their communities and even friends and family. All can result in feelings of isolation or lonelines.

Although isolation and loneliness are experienced by many deaf people, this is often overlooked. It tends to be the practical challenges caused by deafness that are the focus – the assumption being that technology will provide the solution.

At Hearing Dogs for Deaf People we’re now turning the spotlight on how our dogs help deaf people to leave loneliness behind and reconnect with life, through a mixture of practical and emotional support. We talk more about this with supporters, potential supporters and the general public, to show why we’re so proud of our highly versatile and life-changing hearing dogs.

Click here to find out how hearing dogs are changing lives.

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About the author

blog hearing dogs

Hi everyone, I'm Matt and I look after the Charity's social media, blog and e-newsletter.

I spend a lot of my day talking about our hearing dog superstars - it's a hard life!

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