Support from experts and from peer support from people who have experienced hearing loss can be invaluable. We offer different types of group support that help make life easier, and we will introduce you to others who are facing the same challenges as you.
Our LinkUps bring together a group of around 15 people to explore the challenges of living with hearing loss, to share solutions, and to learn more about the strategies and equipment that can help make life a little bit easier. There is no fixed agenda.
LinkUps are useful to anyone whose life has been affected by hearing loss. This includes anyone whose hearing has deteriorated to the point where it is causing them difficulties. It also includes relatives, partners or friends of someone with hearing loss, as we know that hearing loss in the family affects all family members and everyone needs support to find a new way forward.
LinkUps are run by Hearing Link, which is part of Hearing Dogs.
Find out more here.
Intensive Rehabilitation Programme
Our intensive residential rehabilitation programmes take place over a period of five days and include up to eight adults with hearing loss. Many participants bring a family member or friend, and a few bring their children. The programme covers a range of subjects: lipreading, relaxation, coping, communication skills, family relationships, balance, cochlear implants, employment, equipment, and services available to assist you. Communication support is provided through the week. It may include flip charts, Boogie Boards, and a note taker or ‘Speech to Text’ reporter who will transcribe what is said as it is being said so you can read it on a large screen. Programmes take place in different parts of the UK.
Our intensive residential rehabilitation programmes are run by Hearing Link, which is part of Hearing Dogs.
Find out more here.
“I was working as a teacher when I first noticed a drop in my hearing, and over the next few years my hearing gradually got worse. I slowly lost confidence. I couldn’t keep up with what was going on and felt stupid. Even at family gatherings I felt like I might as well not be there.
“I was almost at the point of giving up when my daughter Sarah found out about Hearing Link and the group support they offer, and in 2018 we were both invited to a LinkUp Group in York.
“I had no idea what to expect, but everyone was so kind and welcoming. It was great to realise I was not the only one experiencing difficulties with my hearing. Not only did we discuss the shared challenges, but also learned a lot of strategies for overcoming them. We learned about equipment that is available; but perhaps the most life-changing thing for me was taking control of my life again by being proactive in explaining to people what I need from them to enable me to hear and understand what’s going on.
“Looking back I am amazed how much the group boosted my confidence. I have since started lipreading classes, begun learning basic BSL and even tried out subtitled films at the cinema. Some of us set up a WhatsApp group and we give each other information, advice and general encouragement. I now have a personal listener which has also proved very useful.
“With my hearing loss I gradually changed from a self-confident, capable school leader and member of the community to become hesitant, withdrawn and self-doubting. The LinkUp managed to reverse that and made me start to believe in myself again.
"My advice to anyone thinking of attending a LinkUp is, do it now! Don’t waste a minute more of your life. I feel empowered and more positive. It has changed my life for the better – it can do the same for you.”