Combatting Isolation: Tips to Stay “In the Loop,” Regardless of Hearing Ability

John Kinstler

John Kinstler
Outreach Marketing Manager
CapTel Captioned Telephone, Inc.

By John Kinstler, Outreach Marketing Manager, CapTel Captioned Telephone, Inc.

CapTel Captioned Telephone, Inc. is an HLAA Hear for Life Partner. CapTel is teaming with HLAA to promote hearing health and encourage more Americans to act on their hearing. We are pleased to share a guest blog post from CapTel’s John Kinstler.

Mention of goods or services in this blog post does not imply Hearing Loss Association of America endorsement.

One of the most common concerns shared by people with hearing loss is a feeling of isolation, particularly living through our recent periods of social distancing. Connections with others help add joy and a sense of community to our lives. Consider these simple, proactive measures you can take to help combat isolation, regardless of your hearing level.

Attend Virtual Events

Virtual events are a great way to enjoy things like lectures, sporting events, plays and more even if you can’t be together in person. Online events often provide live or pre-recorded captions, depending on the service used. Ask the meeting host to turn on the captions. You can also interact with fellow attendees in typed back and forth “chat” sessions, rather than relying on hearing. Or consider calling into the event with a captioned telephone to see captions of what is said.

Become a Regular in a Hobby Group or Forum

What are you passionate about? Whether it’s photography, sports, woodworking or a myriad of other things, there are thousands of people who share the interest with you. To find them, search on Google or Facebook for your interests with terms like “forum” or “group.” You will instantly find communities to trade tips, ask questions and chat with like-minded folks. Check with your area’s HLAA Chapter about local special interest groups. If meeting in person, use mobile apps that will help translate voice into text.

Call Friends and Family with a Captioned Phone

Phone conversations with hearing loss have traditionally been challenging, but a captioned telephone makes it easy to stay connected to friends and family no matter the distance. The phone shows you live, word-for-word captions of everything your caller says, letting you hear what you can and read what you need to. You can enjoy phone conversations, confident that you’ll catch every word.

Use Hearing Assistive Technology

There are so many new technologies designed for people with hearing loss, it’s hard to keep up. Whether it’s sound-filtering headsets for TV viewing, rear-window captioning for attending movies or plays, amplified speakers for video chats on your computer or laptop, Bluetooth devices that direct sound to hearing aids, the list goes on and on. The trick is to find and personally try new devices that match your interests. A good starting point is the Assistive Technology catalog by Diglo (formally Harris Communications) found at

Connect the Old-Fashioned Way

Sometimes we forget, there are ways to stay in touch with the people we love that don’t require any technology! Take the time to write a letter or card to a friend or family member or exchange small gifts through the mail. Everyone loves to have a pen pal!

We all feel isolated from time to time but taking simple proactive steps and incorporating some new technologies can help keep you “in the loop” with the important people and activities that add joy to your life.

At all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to each other, our communities, and the world. Hearing loss should not keep anyone from reaching their full potential. Learn more about early intervention measures at

For questions or more information, email HLAA at

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