Hearing loss affects 70 per cent of people over the age of 70 and it has a huge impact on quality of life. This is a sponsored post.
HEARING loss is costing Australia $15 billion a year in health system costs and lost productivity, which is why the annual Hearing Awareness Week raises awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.
World Hearing Day is held on March 3 each year, and coincides with Hearing Awareness Week, which runs from Sunday, March 1 to Saturday, March 7.
Hearing loss affects 70 per cent of people over the age of 70 and it has a huge impact on quality of life, says a Hearing Awareness Week spokesperson.
Hearing loss is more common than heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and 500,000 hearing aids are bought every year in Australia.
“Ten thousand people whose first language is Auslan cannot be left behind and deserve better access to education, jobs and community life,” says the spokesperson.
Charity prioritises ‘better hearing’ help
CANBERRA has a significant hearing-loss problem, according to Bill Leane, chairman of the ACT branch of Better Hearing Australia.
He says 25 per cent of Canberrans are more than 55 years old and, of these people, 60 per cent would benefit from a hearing device – that’s 60,000 people.
“Ten thousand people have and regularly use a hearing device [and] 50,000 Canberrans and their families tolerate and accommodate life with a frustrating and debilitating hearing deficiency,” Bill says.
“Many of the frustrated 50,000 Canberrans also experience a second or third disability.
“In these cases, hearing loss is pushed lower in the priority for treatment.”
Bill says Better Hearing Australia is a charity with the mission to bring information, education, skills and proven management packages to anyone coping unnecessarily with the debilitating effects of progressive hearing loss such as isolation, loneliness, withdrawal and depression.
“Better Hearing Australia is here to help before, during and after the acquisition of hearing loss,” he says.
“We have a free outreach program through social and traditional media.
“We conduct workshops on strategies of how family networks and clients can help manage hearing-loss journeys, within their own resources and with access to public support.
“We offer coaching and mentoring for clients and network leaders.
“[And] we operate three weekly hearing-loss management classes in Canberra, with a class complement of about 12 per class.”
Better Hearing Australia, COTA Building, 2 Wisdom Street, Hughes. Visit bhacanberra.org or call 6281 3962.
One-day event full of hearing advice
THE ACT Deafness Resource Centre’s Health and Hearing Expo on Thursday, March 5, is a great opportunity for people to talk to various hearing-loss experts at the one venue, says CEO Glenn Vermeulen.
Glenn says everyone is invited to the event, which begins at 10am at the Hellenic Club in Woden.
“We invite the deaf and hearing impaired, their families, friends and carers to take advantage of meeting with the hearing industry under the one roof on the day,” he says.
“A number of community organisations will also be present for you to meet, as well as special guest speakers.”
Whether someone has a Cochlear implant, a hearing aid, needs personal advice or cares for someone with a hearing loss, Glenn says this is the event for them.
“While visitors are there they can take the opportunity to chat with a host of community organisations as well,” he says.
“And importantly, Hearing Australia will be there too, providing free hearing screening tests.
“To take advantage of this free service you must book first directly with Hearing Australia on 6232 3200.”
Glenn says ample parking is available at the Hellenic Club on a first come, first served basis.
“It’s free to members of the club and at a reasonable rate to others,” he says.
ACT Deafness Resource Centre’s Hearing and Health Expo, Hellenic Club, Woden, 10am-3pm, Thursday, March 5. Visit actdrc.org.au