The region’s leading deafness charity has completed its year-long Hear it Here campaign to spread awareness throughout Cheshire West and Chester.
Deafness Support Network (DSN) hit the road in an electric car, taking its services mobile to visit individuals and social groups in rural and isolated areas.
More than 70 groups were visited all together, with DSN’s specialists offering advice and guidance on everything from assistive technology, welfare benefits, health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as home safety assessments in partnership with Cheshire Fire and Rescue.
One group which benefited included 75 retired Eaton Estate workers, some of whom had a significant hearing loss. They were informed about the new service and how DSN’s services could improve the quality of their lives.
Gill Reeder, operations executive at DSN, said: “We’ve received some very positive feedback about ‘Hear it Here’ from the older people, their families, friends and carers.
“Many now have a better understanding of deafness, and more importantly an improved awareness of their own deafness and how it impacts on their lives. This understanding is now helping them reduce their isolation, both within the family and in social groups, and making them better prepared and able to cope with their hearing loss.”
With a rapidly ageing population that is living longer, it is estimated that one in three of this population will have, or will develop, a significant hearing loss.
Gill Reeder added: “Our experience of working with people affected by age related hearing loss is that after they first notice a reduction in their hearing, many people don’t take any action for up to 10 years. This can lead to a variety of issues, including isolation and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
“Our aim is to find a way to intervene as soon as possible, to remove the stigma associated with deafness, and to inform people of preventative measures.
“The Hear it Here campaign was a fantastic way of reaching people in more isolated areas and we’ll continue to use the electric car to visit social groups and continue spreading awareness.”