Supporting Carers with Hearing Loss

This week we have been highlighting the range of equipment available to support Carers who have a hearing loss. We had a stall at an event organised by Derbyshire Carers Association at St Peter’s Church in Derby. Sadly wet weather kept some people away but our stall was very popular, with several Carers talking to our volunteer, Bev about their equipment needs.

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New online survey to find out how we can best support you.

Over the next week we will be sending out a survey to over 1000 CamTAD members as part of their quarterly newsletter.

We are currently piloting new CamTAD Hearing Support Group Coffee Mornings which are open to anyone affected by hearing loss, regardless of where you get your hearing aids from and even if you don’t wear them at all. It would be great to get your views on the type of support you would like us to offer.

There is also an opportunity to have your say on other services that we may consider for the future. This will help us highlight the need when we apply for future funding.

There are 10 very simple tick box questions and it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Please click here for the online survey

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Understanding your hearing aids

We have found from discussions that we have with our clients that there are a lot of questions raised regarding the types of settings available on hearing aids. We would like to share these with you.

Volume control and hearing aid settings

The majority of behind the ear hearing aids on the NHS have a button on the rear which will allow you to change volume or alternate settings once these facilities have been activated by your NHS hearing aid provider.

  • Volume button – this allows you to alter the volume to make certain environments easier to manage for example, turning the volume down if you walk into a busy shopping centre. Resetting the aid to the optimum volume is as simple as opening and closing the battery compartment.

Most behind the ear NHS hearing aids can be programmed with up to four settings. These vary but the most popular one is the loop or what was originally called the T switch or telecoil. Here are some of the settings you can ask for:

Microphone

This is the main setting on your hearing aid, this is standard

Loop or Telecoil (often referred as the T switch)

This switches off your microphones and will allow you to hear sound transmitted directly to your aids from an external source. This is ideal in places like banks and government buildings which can be extremely busy. You can also use loop facilities in theatres, cinemas and in places of worship. There is also equipment available that can allow you to hear the television directly into your hearing aids and some phones also work best using this setting as it improves clarity.

Loop & Microphone

Whereas the loop programme cuts off the microphones allowing you hear more clearly. This setting allows you to use a television loop device and still hear conversation and other sounds such as the doorbell and telephone, making the experience less isolating.

Directional microphones

Modern hearing aids can adapt to your environment but sometimes this is not enough, making certain settings very difficult such as going to the pub, visiting a busy restaurant, going shopping or travelling on public transport. One of the settings on the hearing aid could be adapted to switch off the rear microphone, giving you more focus on sounds in front of you.

Music setting

If you are a fan of music but you find that your hearing aids produce a sound which is too artificial or “tinny” (often so that speech can be clearer), then you can ask for a music setting which will allow you to hear a more natural sound when you are listening to music.

There may be a very valid reason why your hearing aid doesn’t have volume control or settings. Sometimes these can be a bit fiddly and may not suit some people or if you are new to hearing aids then you need to get used to the optimum volume as you may have become used to hearing at a lot lower volume due to your hearing loss.

If you have any queries about which settings would suit you then please speak to your audiologist or give us a call.

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Help us to develop a Directory of good hearing loop facilities locally

We can’t believe how many people with hearing aids do not know about how to use a hearing loop and have either dismissed the option of having the facility activated on their hearing aid or simply do not know that they can. This useful video, produced in the USA explains what a loop is:

Many people get put off asking to use the loop system as they get embarrassed or are worried that it won’t work. Sometimes people aren’t sure whether they have the loop facility or don’t know how to switch it on. To check if you have the loop facility activated simply enquire with your hearing aid provider. If you need support to understand how to use a loop we can help.

We would like to encourage more people to feel comfortable using loop systems by building a directory of places where loops work well. We could also incorporate a naughty list, where loop systems are simply inadequate, encouraging the venues to make things better (with our help of course).

Please let us know by contacting us on any of the following:

Telephone: 01332 258143

Text: 07788 715705

Email: camtad@camtad.org

or leave us a message on Facebook

 

Deaf Awareness Week visit to The Leylands highlights various ways CamTAD can help

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This morning we attended a coffee morning at The Leylands Estate in Derby. We attend the site on a quarterly basis and it has become a hub for people who live in the complex to come and get advice about their hearing aids.  The following advice given at today’s session gives you a good idea about the kind of support that we can offer in the community:

  • Support to get an appointment for wax removal
  • Appointment made to get loop programme and volume control on a client’s hearing aids
  • Support to organise a home visit from an NHS hearing provider
  • Support to understand changes in the NHS hearing aid provision
  • Gave advice on how to clean hearing aids
  • Arranged to get an aid adapted to suit a patient’s disability because they struggle to put them in.
  • Advised about TV loop products that could help someone hear the TV more clearly
  • Liaised with an NHS hearing aid provider to determine when a patient’s next hearing test is due

We often back up  advice given with a letter so that our clients have clear guidance on how we’ve helped.

With help from funding from the National Lottery more Coffee Mornings are being planned. These will give people the chance to enjoy a relaxed drink with friends while getting advice and support.

Listen Hear Support Group celebrates a year of success

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During Deaf Awareness Week we want to highlight some of the other services locally that can offer support if you have a hearing loss.

The Listen Hear Support Group continues to meet on the second Thursday of each month at the Resident’s Common Room of the Guinness Partnership at 1A Sidney Street from 1:00pm to 3:00 pm.

On average about 16 members attend each meeting, but the Flower Arranging Demonstration on February 14th (Valentine’s Day!) was very popular with 24 Members present and three lucky Members walking away with the 3 beautiful flower arrangements produced.

Other popular presentations / talks at the monthly meetings have included Fire Prevention, Chair based exercises, Lip Reading and Quantum Touch. In fact the Chair Based Exercises (no gym kit required!) proved to be so popular that Sarah from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue has visited twice this year and is coming again in August.

The Members also enjoyed a Christmas Fuddle / Party and mini-coach trips, including cream tea refreshments, to both Carsington Reservoir and Kedleston Hall.

Listen Hear was very lucky that they received funding from Foundation Derbyshire during the period from January 2018 to April 2019 which has greatly helped.

New Members are always welcome.

Listen Hear are also always looking out for people to give a short talk (about 30 – 60 minutes) on any interesting subjects / hobbies /past experiences etc.

Cost is £1 per meeting which includes refreshments.

For further information please contact Ansuya (07817 412918) or Francis (01332 290956)

Listed below is the meeting programme for the rest of 2019.

LISTEN HEAR – MONTHLY MEETING PROGRAMME 2019

June 13th               Susan Bailey – Diabetes UK

July 11th                 Tina – Derbyshire Carers project

August 8th             Sarah Wigley -Chair based exercises

September 12th   David Mear (Member) – Talk on Cameras

October 10th         Group Exercises / Fun and Games

November 14th     Group Activities

December 12th     CHRISTMAS PARTY