I hope your Christmas was a happy time and as we’re about to welcome in a New Year.
It should be a time of joy for all, but did you know that about 10 per cent of people can feel left out of the celebrations? There are the millions of people who struggle to hear in a noisy environment. This can make those lovely friend and family gatherings a nightmare but, with a bit of care, we can all be included.
Modern hearing aids are brilliant mini computers but they can’t know all the sounds you want to hear, which means users can be swamped by noise. So please don’t add any loud music to your gathering. Put a tablecloth on your table, it will absorb some noise, and try to speak one at a time.
When speaking to someone who struggles to hear, make sure there is good light, because they will be watching your lips and expression. Get their attention before you start, speak clearly and not too fast, but don’t shout! Use gestures where appropriate and please be patient, it may take a moment to decipher what you have said.
If you’re the one who is struggling, please let people know, hearing aids are so unobtrusive, no one will notice, and most people want to be helpful. You can learn to get the best from your hearing, whether you use an aid or not, by joining a Lipreading and Managing Your Hearing Loss class. We’re lucky in Melton because there are classes held in the town on Wednesday afternoons at Gloucester House. They’re taught by qualified tutor, Jane Futcher. To find out more about the local classes phone/text Jane on 07989 146682.
For classes held Nationwide go to www.atlalipreading.org.uk. And a very happy and rewarding New Year to you all.
Jane Futcher, Lipreading tutor, Leslie Edwards Trust Charity