Is social distancing bad for hearing aid wearers?

I live alone. I normally have a pretty reasonable amount of in-person social interaction. But now I’m supposed to stay at home and isolate myself, so the only time I hear peoples’ voices are on the phone or on TV or radio. My guess is this is not at all good for my hearing and speech comprehension, to say nothing of the well-documented detriments of social isolation. Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can maintain my hearing as this pandemic drags on? Thanks.

I listen to podcast, and I read books while the app is reading it too me. I also watch some TV even though I could care less about TV any more, except for the old movies.


I really don’t think this isolation will hurt you as long as you are still putting the aids in and living life normally.
One of the things that really helps me for word recognition is the TV connector and watching TV. I continue to use closed captioning even with the TV connector. This allows me to learn new sounds I have not heard in a long time slowly putting things back together.


with neighbour recreational activity will be best option but only in home

When I am trying to converse with someone 2 metres or more away, I always change the setting on my Ambra HA’s to the UltraZoom program. It tends to cut through much of the noise and clarifies speech a bit more.

Been watching a lot of Netflix… I do not normally watch much TV apart from Sport, I got a second hand iMac 27in Retina i7 a few months back and installed Windows 10 Pro to duel boot it, twas probably one of my better moves with hindsight, Apple being Apple are way too restrictive on what you can install and I find Windows to be much more user friendly… I think it was Raudrive who mentioned the TV connector and a computer, so I hooked up mines to the iMac, I had not thought about wiring up my TV connector prior to this and was just using Bluetooth with my iMac (Thank you Raudrive) Tis brilliant along with my Phonak M 90’s and its night and day! Netflix has an exceptional “closed Cap Text” service and along the TV Connector I have no problem following films or whatever… Occasionally I might miss the odd word but I have the captions as back up and I would highly recommend the Netflix service. Cheers Kev


I still get out and walk a few miles each day in a local green way. I used to see 4 - 5 people, now I see 25 - 30 over the same distance, all staying 2 meters more more apart. Many stand apart using “social distancing” and converse for a few minutes to an hour, where before it was smile, wave, keep going.


That’s pretty good.
The virus is bringing us together.

1 Like

I also go out and walk the trails around here. I try to get in at least 4 miles a day. And I am finding that a lot more are getting out and walking now which is really healthy for everyone. The healthier we are the better we handle any illness.


Someone said, "Think of the astronauts in space or flying to Mars. If they can stand up to that endurance test, perhaps we can still manage here on Earth with much less social isolation. I talk to my neighbors, etc. We all stay a decent distance apart. As the President himself wondered today at a briefing, maybe new social customs will evolve post-pandemic where people realize hand-shaking, cheek-kissing, etc., was “OK” with strangers once upon a time but now in the days of world pandemics and more knowledge aboutt how things can go down, it’s a different world. He even wondered if in the future it would be a good idea to have the White House Briefing room packed with reporters sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. (I liked his briefing) The N.Y. Times has a very interesting article today about how a large birthday party of very well-heeled folks in Westport, CT early in March led to seeding the coronavirus in Westport and Fairfield County and sent it to places like Johannesburg, etc.

I recommend anyone worried about social distancing and not wanting to go the distance, so to speak, read the article:


To answer the OP, no it won’t be worse. If each person is 2metres apart and you engage with them directly you should be ok. The real benefit will be the lack of hubbub noise from multiple immediate conversations.


I listen to audiobooks, FaceTime with a few friends out of state, lately watch too much news, the occasional video. Three years ago I started an ukulele group. I have skipped last two meetings but continue to play and sing daily. Thanks to YouTube and also ukulele groups on FaceBook I can play along with others or listen and learn. I also enjoy so many types of music and that’s always a way I feel connected to the world. Texting back and forth with friends both near and in other states where I lived in the past is a reminder that even living alone I’m connected to people.

Sunshine and warmer weather allowed me outside last week. I enjoyed others doing the same but managed usually more than 6’ apart, always at least that much.

While watching so much this week on TV where someone was next to the speaker and using ASL for the severely hearing impaired reminded me I should make the time to learn ASL now just in case someday that might save me from total isolation. No matter how occupied I am during this “new normal” of much more alone time I’ve become acutely aware that I need to interact in person face to face as part of a normal daily routine. Perhaps that is not true for all humans as it is for me. (To clarify…I live in one of those currently mandated “stay in your house” states.)

1 Like

This statement says a lot about people. Some really need to talk and be around other people while others are happy being alone. This fact also plays a part about people losing their hearing and making a decision to get or not get hearing aids. The loner may wait a long time to get aids. Then you throw in Coronavirus and ask people to self distance. There are people who will have a tuff time self distancing. They just need to talk and be around people. It’s interesting to see where the Coronavirus gets a better foothold based on this information.

I belong to AA and Weight Watchers, and I do virtual meetings on both via Zoom, which allow me to see and converse with friends. While I don’t do FaceTime with family (very little family anyway), many people find it a good way to connect.

On the subject of isolation, it comes “naturally” with aging. My two grandmothers both lived well into their 90’s, one to 93, the other until almost 98. As they aged, all their lifelong friends died off. One of the grandmothers realized she was losing friends and, according to my aunt, attempted to compensate by deliberately going out of her way to make younger friends. In spite of that, they both faced the ends of their lives very much alone. One was an avid reader and letter writer and used those activities to stay “connected.” Neither wanted to go to a nursing home but each remained in their own homes with family or hired help who didn’t interact with them much. Just mentioning this to say that coronavirus is not an unusually special threat of isolation and distancing. If you live long enough and don’t go to an assisted living community, you may find yourself living very much alone at home. Perhaps the fact that each grandmother had almost a century of memories in their respective residences helped a lot. They could live on, kept company by those memories that would speak to us if we visited.

1 Like

I live in an area of about 15000 senior citizens, and we keep each other company. We have monthly birthday parties for the ones that are 90 or older. I am 72 and I feel like a child around here at times. We have more activities going on normally then even teenages do. It is a healthy environment also. I just want this virus to get over with so we can get back to the games an parties. It is so wonderful to see 85 - 95 year olds out walking the trails. We have over 20 miles of trails here. We have 9 golf coarses, and 11 lakes. We have fittness centers and even group homes and hospice care when needed. There doesn’t have to be that loneliness

Well this thread has taken some twists and turns. But I’m very glad I posted the question and started the discussion. Thank you everyone for your insightful responses.

1 Like

Community gyms have closed in most projects.

1 Like

same here, and also our dinein cafes, and the theater, same as every where else. But we have over 20 miles of trails and 26000 acres of forest to roam in.


Social isolation is better than the alternative. I wish I could stay home until this is over.