How To Make A Hearing Loss New Year’s Resolution

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It’s the time of year for resolutions. I will be more patient. I will start a workout regimen. I will eat healthier food. You know the drill. Most of the time, the motivation for these changes lasts a few weeks and fizzles away.

But this year, let’s try something different. Let’s make some hearing loss resolutions and stick with them throughout the year. Together, we can keep each other focused and make our plans a reality. Are you on board?

The New Year is always a good excuse to take stock and refocus on your goals and priorities. For many years I made the same resolution over and over again. It didn’t get me anywhere. But then I started thinking about resolutions more tactically and began scheduling them on my calendar.

For example: This year I will get healthier — OK, add a weekly yoga class to my calendar. Or: This year I will attend the theater more often — OK, buy two tickets to a new show. Add a reminder to my calendar to do the same thing in a month or two.

What can we add to our calendar for hearing loss? Here are some options. Which ones will you choose?

1. Wear your hearing aids consistently. Resolve to keep them in, even when it gets challenging. You have to give your brain time to adapt to the new level of sound. Put a daily reminder in your phone to prompt you to put them in and keep them in.

2. Advocate for yourself. Mention your hearing loss every time you make a restaurant reservation. Utilize caption readers at the movies. Make these things a habit so they become routine.

3. Get your hearing tested. Are you still wondering if you have hearing loss? Call and make an appointment with an audiologist right now.

4. Help others with hearing loss. Find hearing loss advocacy efforts in your community. Is there a locally based non-profit? A school for the deaf? Reach out to a local house of worship or community theater about looping or captioning options. Make an appointment to help out.

5. Tell people about your hearing loss. Send an email to friends or share an informative hearing loss post on Facebook. Get the word out so people can support your journey. Or tell one person or group of people a month. Put a notation on your calendar so you don’t forget.

6. Meet other people with hearing loss. Find a local HLAA chapter and go to the meetings. Put the meeting dates on your calendar now.

7. Explore new technologies. In NYC, the Center for Hearing and Communication holds a weekly demonstration of assistive listening devices. Is there something like that in your area? Add the dates to your calendar. If not, maybe your audiologist would be interested in starting one.

8. Read a hearing loss book. Several good ones are available and you might pick up a tip or two. I reviewed two books on this blog. You can read the reviews here and here.

9. Educate others about hearing loss. Volunteer to speak at a local senior center about tactics for coping with hearing loss or share your experiences online. You might learn some new things too.

10. Take a speechreading class. This can only help your communication skills and might even be fun. Add the dates to your calendar. I am looking for a class in my area to try this year.

Readers, are you making a hearing loss New Year’s resolution?

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12 thoughts on “How To Make A Hearing Loss New Year’s Resolution”

  1. Jerry Henderson – Pownal Maine – Thank you for coming to my space. This is where I post thoughts, opinions and commentary on a variety of subjects at irregular intervals. I try to do something weekly, but have not nailed down a rigid schedule, like every Wednesday, yet. If you would like email notifications of new posts, you can make that happen right on the site. Simply enter your email address to subscribe. Also, if you would like to comment I welcome that. Just do so in the space at the bottom of any selected post. Sharing thoughts, opinion and commentary is a peculiarly human characteristic. It must be exercised to be enjoyed. Jerry Henderson
    Jerry Henderson says:

    Happy New Year Shari. May the new year bring good things to you and your family. You have the honor of being the first person too bring up resolutions to me. I generally avoid them.

    But considering the possibilities, I vow to loose the fifteen ugly pounds I have picked up these past two years. HA! But that’s the problem. It’s so global, general and vague. Your point of being specific down to the “activity” you will do to make the larger goal possible is the key.

    Now about my hearing loss and what I am doing about it. I wish it were as simple as to resolve to hear better.. It is, however, simple to resolve to practice listening exercises every day. It doesn’t take hours – minutes a day will work. I am guilty of letting this simple but effective activity slide by for several days and at the same time complain about the lack of progress. This should be an easy one to implement.

    Keeping it simple, I will be more diligent about advocating for myself. I confess to being too passive in the public sector when a simple word or two could being a difficult situation under control. Self advocacy got me where I am and I am sure that is the way for the future.

    That’s enough! I’m getting used to a new hearing aid – the Phonak Link – and this is taking some effort while promising to make a huge difference in my understanding. I’m six months into the CI journey and hearing is definitely better, with a long way to go. I think I need to do some fine tuning during these next six months.

    Practice and advocacy. We’ll see.

    1. Hi Jerry. Good luck to you! Glad to know that you CI is working well. I am considering one this year, but the doctor says he may be to insert 6-8 electrodes due to my blocked cochlea. I am confused if I should go for it or just wait till my other functional ear (at 30-40%) also goes down.

    2. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Happy New Year Jerry! These sound like good goals — maybe jot the practice sessions onto your calendar or set up a reminder on your computer. That way it will be easier to make a habit of it. Best of luck to you!

  2. Hi Shari, happy new year to you!
    This year I am kind of contemplating to come out in the open about my hearing loss. Due to one functional ear and use of hi-power HA things are Ok as of now. But the hearing is gradually on a decline. I am scared of my future, both personally and professionally, of how things might change for me, if I go deaf. Since I haven’t told people at work, I am the butt of many jokes of being inattentive and also avoid talking to people other than work. I want to change this situation. I want to fight all my fears and let people know, that I am hard of hearing/deaf, so pls accommodate me. I’m not sure how Indian HR and corporate woul react, but I am gonna give it a try.
    Also, you mention local HLL chapters. I dont think we have any such advocacy or community here in India. Can you let me know or help me in case you know someone…if I wish to start something on those lines in India. Its fabulous to reach out to this community, and it really allays a lot of my personal fears.
    Thank you for the post!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Happy New Year and welcome! It took me a long time to come clean about my hearing loss, but it has been very freeing. You can read about it here: https://livingwithhearingloss.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/coming-out-of-my-hearing-loss-closet/
      As for HLAA-like chapters overseas – you may want to check with IFHOH to see if they can recommend resources for you in India. http://www.ifhoh.org. Good luck to you!

  3. The first thing I did after I read this was look for a Speech reading class – I live very close to Philadelphia so I googled Speechreading Philadelphia – and the first thing that came up is a speechreading class beginning in February 0f 2002; the second one was dated 1999.
    So where are these classes at? I actually live in South New Jersey and there is no HLAA chapter near me either – the closest is further north, about 1.5 hours away.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      That is frustrating. Did you check with your audiologist? Or maybe a local hospital or ENT doc? I hope you can find something close to home.

      1. The only option in my area is a CI group. I have no objection to attending that, however I did once attend the HLAA meeting 1.5 hours away. It was much more appropriate I thought and interestingly enough, there were CI people there as well.
        My audiologist is at a local research hospital in Philadelphia. I really can’t figure out why we don’t have one. I am an active advocate and I end up knowing more about what is available in my area than most. I have developed relationships with movie theaters and sound companies that supply equipment for theaters in NYC to make sure I can attend performances there and enjoy them.
        I really think it comes down to people not wanting to ruffle feathers to get their needs met, and their embarrassment at their loss of hearing. All which creates further isolation.
        I lost a lot of my hearing fairly young (mid 40’s) so I’m still willing to advocate aggressively. But if you’re elderly, it’s not so easy.

      2. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
        Shari Eberts says:

        I hope something turns up. Please keep me posted.

      3. In case it’s of interest, the new-ish HLAA Center City Philly chapter meets monthly, usually on Rittenhouse Square — convenient for public transportation to/from South Jersey, (but a bit iffy for parking). For contact details, see under Pa. in the HLAA chapter listings by state on hearingloss.org

        I’ll sound out the chapter members to see if anyone is aware of speechreading classes in the area.

  4. Shari Broder LLC – Coastal Maine – I work with foodies who want to be a healthy weight. I teach them how to end their desire to overeat so they can enjoy the foods they love, lose weight and keep it off. I'm a life coach, attorney, arbitrator and mediator.
    Shari Broder LLC says:

    Great suggestions, Shari! Thanks for continuing to help people dealing with hearing loss.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks for reading!

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