Cecile is an active grandmother in her seventies and enjoys playing the cello. Imagine, then, her frustration, as she noticed her hearing gradually deteriorating over the past few years.
Cecile, who lives alone but near family in Shropshire on the English-Welsh border, found herself increasingly struggling to follow conversations when she was sitting in a group. She started to feel left out of family life.
Moreover, Cecile had misgivings about the equipment which might help her to hear better. She was concerned about possible stigma attached to wearing hearing aids. She was also unsure where to turn for information.
Cecile is far from alone in this experience, and this is where Signal: The Hub and its manager Paul come in. The Hub, in the centre of the county town, is easy to drop in to and well publicised through libraries and community groups.
Paul and his team of volunteers are The Hub’s beating heart, ready to provide encouragement and information – without charge. Cecile dropped in and Paul took all the time that she needed to talk through her situation.
Paul carried out a hearing screening, which indicated that Cecile indeed has moderate hearing loss. He recommended that she have a full hearing test and explained the options for doing this. Cecile decided to seek a referral from her GP and then visit the local NHS audiology service.
Paul reassured Cecile that the hearing test is non-invasive. He explained that there are different types of equipment to help people with hearing loss and hearing aids would only be fitted if she would benefit from them.
“Now I can hear the birds singing again!”
Cecile was able to choose to visit an NHS audiologist in the familiar environment of The Hub, which houses a soundproof audiology booth. She now comfortably wears hearing aids in both ears and is regaining confidence in public and group settings.
Cecile is ecstatic at being able to hear sounds again that she had forgotten. “Now I can hear the birds singing again!” she exclaimed.
Encouragement is what the young people who enrol at the only Vocational Training Centre for Deaf Learners (VTCD) in Tanzania find too.
Read more in the story, Planting seeds of knowledge…