A new report commissioned by the National Foundation for the Deaf shows as many as 880,350 New Zealanders live with a hearing loss. That means more than 1 in 6 people cope with the impact of hearing loss on a daily basis.
As a hearing therapist with Life Unlimited, Trish Ellis understands how hearing loss can impact on day-to-day life, and especially personal relationships.
“Relationships in life are so important. If you’re having difficulty hearing, it can be frustrating at times and affect others around you – including partners, other friends and family or work colleagues.
“One person described how her husband retreats to his other place when they socialise – which is saddening.”
There’s also the added stress of not hearing well in situations that are important, like when you’re at the doctor, bank or at work.
Trish works with individuals and couples to help them identify the situations that make communicating challenging. Together they explore strategies to help manage the impact of hearing loss in those tricky situations.
“At Hearing Therapy we can help by encouraging new ways of managing hearing difficulties,” says Trish. “This may include clarifying expectations around living with hearing loss, help with assistive technology and effective communication strategies for individuals and couples.
“Hearing Therapy has an open door – we’re able to provide time and ongoing support to help people reflect on their hearing and communication needs and celebrate their achievements in a supportive environment.”
Trish runs clinics throughout the Coromandel, and in Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo. The service is free for New Zealanders aged 16 years and over. Bookings can be made by phoning 0800 008 011.