Supporting Mental Wellness Together: The Role of Occupational Therapists in Fostering Community Connection
Written by Marli Groenveld Occupational therapists (OTs) provide a unique perspective within the field of…
Hearing loss can be a challenging condition to navigate, often accompanied by various physical and emotional difficulties. One common symptom that individuals with hearing loss experience is tinnitus, a persistent ringing or buzzing sound in the ears or head without any external source. This bothersome symptom can disrupt sleep, cause anxiety, and significantly impact daily life and overall well-being. Additionally, the diagnosis of hearing loss itself can bring about considerable anxiety. However, as mental health occupational therapists, we are equipped to help individuals understand the relationship between anxiety, tinnitus, and the nervous system. We offer a range of strategies, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness, sensory modulation, and stress management, to assist individuals in coping with these challenges.
Changes in roles and activities
One of the significant changes that individuals with hearing loss may face is the alteration of their roles and activities. For instance, being a parent or grandparent may become more challenging, and simple activities like catching up with friends over coffee may require extra effort. In such cases, an occupational therapist can provide valuable guidance in identifying ways to modify activities, making them more accessible and enjoyable.
Safety is another crucial aspect to consider for individuals with hearing loss. Concerns may arise regarding their ability to hear important sounds such as fire alarms, boiling pots, or someone at the door. Occupational therapists can help address these concerns by exploring assistive technologies, such as alerting devices and customised technology, that enhance safety and provide peace of mind.
As someone who has personally experienced hearing loss from a young age, I understand the unique challenges that accompany this condition. My dedication lies in assisting individuals in navigating these challenges and empowering them to live a meaningful and purposeful life. I offer my services to individuals under WorkCover, Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management Plan, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
If you or someone you know is struggling with hearing loss, tinnitus, or the associated emotional and practical difficulties, reach out to a mental health occupational therapist today. Together, we can work towards finding effective coping strategies and improving overall well-being in the face of hearing loss.