(BPT) - Whether it's at work, at home or among friends, building and maintaining relationships is one of the most important parts of life. As people get older, however, the ways in which connections are made and kept change due to life adjustments, new technology and health. Those changes often mean challenges. For instance, hearing loss is a common cause of diminishing connections. Those who suffer from it might be reluctant to say or do anything, but not being able to hear can lead to isolation and frustration in all facets of life. Your professional life can suffer just as much as personal relationships, and hearing loss has even been linked to weakened earning power in the workplace. Putting off hearing loss testing is common, for any number of reasons, ranging from not wanting to admit the problem to worry about having to use a bulky hearing aid. But those who take that first step find that their lives take a dramatic turn for the better, with strengthened relationships and greater ability to enjoy what they were previously missing out on. To keep your life connected to those around you, on a personal and professional level, consider these ideas: * Remember the health connection. With age comes an increased awareness of the true value of health and how deeply it affects our lives. By paying attention to and making an honest assessment of health concerns like hearing, it's easier to ensure that you can stay active and connected to your loved ones and friends over the long term. Get your hearing tested and learn about the wide array of new developments in hearing products that can help you live life to the fullest. Visit Starkey.com to find a hearing professional and learn more. * Find ways to maintain your lifestyle. When you've worked to create a life that you enjoy, it makes sense that you want to keep it up, in spite of life changes. Whether that means going out to dinner with friends every Thursday or opening your home as a gathering place to watch movies or sports with family, it's important to keep those connections and habits going. With the help of state-of-the-art hearing aids and hearing aid accessories like SurfLink Mobile, you can maintain your lifestyle without any sacrifices. The SurfLink Mobile device from Starkey Hearing Technologies enables completely hands-free cell phone conversations. In addition, SurfLink Mobile can act as an assistive listening device and hearing aid remote control, as well as stream music and TV directly to a wearer's wireless hearing aids. * Seek opportunities to learn. The constant flood of new gadgets and ways to use them can feel overwhelming, particularly if you were born into a generation that knew a world before personal computers. However, most of these technological developments have been designed for easy use, as long as you have a little background information. Look for community education classes, stop into a computer store that offers instruction, or even ask a friend to help you learn. You might find it easier to connect with loved ones and friends through texting, email and the Web, and that knowledge will also help in the workplace, where computer literacy is now essential. In today's society, "connectedness" refers to technology usage as much as human interaction. But interestingly, the two ideas intersect in ways that improve everyone's lives, with technology driving human connections and vice versa. By taking advantage of the new ways to connect, you'll make your relationships even stronger.
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