CamTAD Hearing Support’s 34th AGM

On Friday 28th June CamTAD Hearing Support held their 34th Annual General Meeting in the Conference Room at London Road Community Hospital. We had a good attendance from members who came along to support the event and to listen to our speakers.

Our officers for the year were elected and we had a lovely presentation of gifts for Michael Sanders, who has retired after 25 years of being on our Executive Committee. We have a new Committee member, John Young, who joined at the AGM. If you would be interested in joining our friendly Committee please do get in touch.

Our first speaker was Piyush Patel, an Audiologist at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton. He brought along new hearing aids that are being issued for patients with complex hearing loss that are patients of the hospital. This included a range of assistive devices that work alongside the new hearing aids.

Sadly our other speaker, Lisa Caldwell was unwell but our wonderful volunteer Francis Spencer stepped in to talk about the Listen Hear Support Group which meets once  a month at the Guinness Trust, located close to the hospital.

We would like to thank our members for attending on the day, Ann Sullivan from Deaf and Hearing Support in Chesterfield who kindly came along to offer Electronic Notetaking for those who needed it, our speakers Piyush and Francis for their interesting presentations, all the volunteers who helped support the event and the hospital Facilities and Catering teams for support with the room and refreshments.

Using technology to instruct professionals in the County.

This morning we have been filming an instructional video so that health colleagues in Alfreton can know how to use a MiniTech+ conversation amplifier that they have purchased to help patients hear when they visit them in their home or in community venues. It was fun to do and it may be something that we look to introduce to our website or Facebook page at a later date, we would need to identify funding to add captions/subtitles.

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Let’s Talk Loneliness Campaign

We have registered with the Lets Talk Loneliness campaign and have some great new CamTAD Hearing Support Coffee Mornings starting in July. Don’t struggle with your hearing loss alone, come and join us for a tea or coffee and cake and make friends in a hearing loss friendly environment.

In January 2018, following recommendations from the Jo Cox Foundation, the UK Government announced a programme of work to tackle loneliness. The following October, the Government launched its Loneliness Strategy , which committed to tackling the stigma of loneliness and promoting the importance of social connections. And from this, the #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign was born, to encourage everyone to start the conversation and say it’s OK to feel lonely and it’s okay to talk about it.

https://letstalkloneliness.co.uk/

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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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