• Help in Hearing Support Atlantic Expedition for Dementia

    We are delighted to announce that we are one of the sponsors of Forget Me Knot, an independent Atlantic expedition to raise money for Dementia UK. In January 2022 the crew will cross nearly 4,000- miles of the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to French Guiana, aiming to break two World Records and raise £100,000.

    Rowing 24hrs in all weather and high seas, the expedition will be long and gruelling – but not in comparison to the daily challenges faced by many dementia carers. Leading the team is Johnnie Ball whose dad died three years ago, following a 15-year battle with dementia.  Having seen the pain dementia brings to families, Johnnie and two friends decided to embark on a mission to raise awareness and funding to help others facing a similar ordeal. 

    700,000 families in the UK care for people with dementia. The relentless demands of care commonly lead to depression and mental health problems, but few carers seek support. Crewman Johnnie saw the anguish that dementia brings to the patient and carer alike over the 15-year period that his dad suffered from the disease. The family watched as his mum and dad went through a nearly two -decade ordeal. Hundreds of thousands of carers have similar stories to tell and the Forget Me Knot campaign to row an ocean will help fundraising efforts to ensure they don’t have to go through it alone.

    Help in Hearing have decided to support this wonderful cause as there is such a significant link between hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia.

    Difficulty hearing speech risk factor for dementia – another new study published 

    Research has shown that assisting hearing difficulties in mid life could help a person maintain their brain function as they get older and might also reduce their risk of dementia. Published on 21st July, a new study led by University of Oxford researchers on over 82,000 participants has shown that difficulty hearing spoken conversations is associated with up to 91% increased risk of dementia. This study was featured on the Today programme. If anyone is interested in catching up on the story here is a link – skip forward to 2hrs55 mins (last 5 minutes of the show).

    To support the Forget Me Knot row for Dementia, we have become a 500 Club member and you could too! If anyone in your family has been affected by Dementia or you know someone that has, why not take a look at the expedition website to find out more!

    https://www.forgetmeknotcampaign.com/

     

     

  • Covid Restrictions still in place in Healthcare Settings

    We are delighted to hear that Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors  across all health services. Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any healthcare setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment.

    The Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May commented: “Face coverings and social distancing measures will remain in place across healthcare settings so that the most vulnerable people can continue to safely attend hospital, their GP surgery, pharmacy or any other healthcare settings for advice, care and treatment.

    “And it is important for the public to continue to play their part when visiting healthcare settings to help protect staff and patients, particularly those who may be more vulnerable to infections. As restrictions are lifted, everyone has a part to play in helping to control Covid by getting vaccinated and acting responsibly”. 

    At Help in Hearing we continue with our strict Covid protocol as it is our priority to keep our clients and staff healthy and safe. Find our more about our policy here.  

  • A Client’s Story: Reflections on a hearing journey and a celebration of technology

    The pandemic brought social isolation to so many, and the impact on the elderly is even greater if combined with a hearing impairment. This is further compounded by research which shows that 77% of older people might need someone to help them through the process of setting up a new device. And yet our client Hugh Gurney is so adept at pairing and using his hearing aids and enhancing accessories, that you might be surprised to hear he has just celebrated his 95th birthday. In this interview, we talk about his work, his hearing and how he has embraced the world of technology.

    In January 2020 Hugh Gurney booked to see our audiologist Wendy Davies as he was so impressed by the care his wife had received at Help in Hearing. Affected by a severe high frequency hearing loss, he was fitted with Oticon Exceed power aids, with which he has been delighted, as they are comfortable, easy to control from his phone and give plenty of flexibility to make adjustments across the frequencies.

    Drugs causing hearing damage

    Mr Gurney had been a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for over 40 years. His first major project in 1948/49 was to develop and run a process to make Dihydrostreptomycin, a derivative of streptomycin used with great success as a course of injections to treat pulmonary tuberculosis. In its heyday it was listed by the WHO as critically important for human medicine. Unfortunately it was found  to be ototoxic causing damage to the cochlea or vestibular structures of the ear. Many patients cured of TB developed severe deafness, and when new more convenient oral drugs for TB became available the use of Dihydrostreptomycin in human medicine was discontinued.

    After several years working with penicillin and other drugs, Hugh spent 4 years in Bombay setting up a factory to manufacture steroids and vitamins. On returning to the UK, he served as general manager of factories in Co.Durham  and Cumbria, with heavy machinery making some areas quite noisy. One factory had a youth club with a good pop band and he received regular invitations to their concerts, which he says were enjoyable but painfully loud when seated in the front row!

    Time for hearing aids

    Despite exposure to possible hearing reduction factors at work and as a wartime teenager to the noise of the London Blitz, Hugh hadn’t really noticed his hearing loss until the 1980’s when he realised he could not hear the alarm sound on a colleague’s new mobile watch. Soon after that he booked a hearing test and had aids fitted through a local optician.  Although these were very useful at the time, particularly for technical and supplier meetings in France, Italy and further afield, once he retired Mr Gurney found himself taking a break from wearing them for several years. However, in 2014 his wife “strongly encouraged” him to start his hearing journey once again.  

    An NHS test confirmed that he had severe hearing loss at high frequencies and provided hearing aids which, with controls bought privately, proved quite useful. He said “I have no complaints about the advice and service I had from the NHS audiology teams but they were limited to equipment on the NHS list. Last year when I needed to update, I realised that hearing technology had changed dramatically with a much broader choice of audiological devices and accessories available which could improve the high frequency shifting I needed. I decided to move on. I was encouraged by my wife’s contacts with Help in Hearing to follow her and had a consultation in January 2020.” 

    Choosing the right device

    Our audiologist Wendy spent time with him working out the best option for his hearing, choosing Exceed aids by Oticon as the best devices for him. He has some experience of internet technology and is a dab hand at pairing with his iPhone, remote microphone and a TV streamer. He says he has been very pleased with the new hearing aids Wendy has prescribed and fitted, as well as all the advice and service he has had since, despite the difficulties of lockdown.

    Covid has made all our worlds smaller and as the world re-opens these advances in hearing technology will make that opening up so much more meaningful. At Help in Hearing, we offer independent advice in order to find the right hearing solution for our individual clients. We take time to explain how the technology works, from the hearing aid itself to a range of supporting accessories – we are here to help, just call 0345 2220579. Or email mail@helpinhearing.co.uk.

  • Enjoy a Summer Of Sound

    Summer is a perfect season to experience the vivid world of sound – such as children playing on the beach, birds singing in the trees, or the sizzle of a family BBQ. So, the team at  Help in Hearing have come up with some top tips to ensure you can enjoy a summer of sound to the full.

    Make sure your hearing is at its best

    Hearing loss can be a gradual process, and people often don’t notice any changes until it becomes difficult to keep up with conversations, particularly in background noise, sometimes making social events stressful and less enjoyable. We recommend that if you’re over 50 you should have your hearing checked by a qualified professional every 2 years so that action can be taken as early as possible.

    Look after your hearing aids

    If you are already a hearing aid user, it’s important to know how to take care of your aids in all seasons. Even if you are not able to travel abroad this summer, keeping your devices free from moisture and debris will help prevent lasting damage and ensure they are working well. Always wash your hands before touching your hearing aids and remove them before you go for a swim or lie on the beach. Placing your hearing aids in a dehumidifier overnight is another great way to keep them clear of moisture build up.

    If you have a holiday booked, whether a ‘staycation’ or abroad, it’s a good idea to get your hearing aids serviced ahead of your trip so you can relax in the knowledge that your hearing aids are good to go.

    Protect your ears

    It is always good practice to protect your ears from excessive noise. This applies to all the family, not only those wearing hearing aids, and is not just for loud concerts or sporting events. If you’re planning to carry out DIY or gardening work over the summer using loud machinery, it’s well worth investing in some ear plugs to keep your ears safe from noise exposure which can cause lasting damage.

    Wear a swimming cap to protect your ears

    If you use cotton buds, stop now! Many people use them to clean their ears, but it is not recommended as they can push earwax further in. This can result in a blockage which might develop into temporary or even permanent conductive hearing loss. If you’ve noticed a build-up of earwax, make sure you book an appointment at Help in Hearing where our audiologists can assess and treat you in a safe and clinical environment.

    All of our audiologists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), giving you and your family the peace of mind that you will only be seen by a fully qualified registered clinician.

    So, if you or your family have concerns about hearing loss or blocked ears, call and make an appointment with the hearing experts on 0345 2220579 or send an online booking form

     

  • Local Litter Pick venture for the Team

    You may have noticed the girls from Help in Hearing out Litter Picking locally. As we drive to work every day, we have noticed increased rubbish tipping around the Beeches and the edge of Farnham Common village. So, armed with some long arm grabbers and sturdy bin bags, on 13th May we put on our High Vis tabards and donned our gloves. It had rained all day but at 5.00pm the grey clouds disappeared for a short while.

    From the practice in Blackpond Lane we walked up to the High Street where the kind people at Costa offered us a free hot drink. We didn’t stop but it was very kind and showed a real community spirit. We headed down Green lane and then along the edge of the Beeches back to Southmead Clinic.  Our bags were surprisingly heavy after an hour so we felt it was well worth doing. We hope to do another litter pick when the weather picks up. Watch this space! 

     

  • TV Streaming Demonstrations in our Clinics and Special Offer!

    Over the last year, TV watching has of course been at the top of the list of things to do. If you have had any problems hearing the TV with your hearing aids, you might like to book in for a one-to-one streaming workshop in our clinic rooms? Selma, Kevin and Wendy can demonstrate how TV listening can be improved with the latest up-to-date streaming technology.

    What’s more, anyone who buys a new pair of hearing aids between May 1st and July 1st will be offered a complimentary TV Connector worth up to £250. Call to book in 03452220579. Or email us: mail@helpinhearing.co.uk

    To find out more about how TV streamers work, take a look at one of our recent blogs

     

     

  • My “Help In Hearing” Photo Competition – win a delightful Goose & Berry Hamper!

    To celebrate the journey out of lockdown we are running a photo competition up until August 31st. The theme of the competition is “My Help in Hearing” and the person to send in the best photo will win a luxury hamper created for us by local company Goose & Berry , and kindly donated by Signia, who will also independently choose the winners. There will also be a runners-up prize of a smaller goodie hamper. We have received a number of entries so far, thank you so much for entering. Featured below are some examples: 

    The Joy of Hearing

    Think of an example of something that makes you happy that your hearing has been helped. Perhaps you didn’t used to be able to hear the birds singing, or perhaps you love hearing the laughter of your grandchildren, or the dog barking?  Whether it’s listening to laughter, a symphony, ocean waves, or a child’s first words, hearing keeps us engaged and connected to the world around us. According to AARP**, optimism and a positive outlook add 7.5 years to our life and an 80% reduction in cardiovascular risk.

    Email your photos here with My “Help in Hearing” Photo Competition in the subject, together with confirmation that you are happy for us to feature your photo/s in our next newsletter, website and social media. Or, you can send your photo/s in the post to: Photo Competition, Help in Hearing, Blackpond Lane, Farnham Common SL2 3ER, once again with a note inside to say you are happy for us to use the photo as above.

    We look forward to seeing them and sharing them with you!

    ** source: Disrupt Aging, AARP.org

    My ”Help in Hearing Photo Competition” 2021 Terms & Condition

    How to Enter

    1. Entries must be submitted by August 31st to gilly@helpinhearing.co.uk.
    2. Any attempted entries received after that date will not be accepted.
    3. Our competition is free to enter. By entering the prize draw, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

    The Prize

    1. The prize is the featured Hamper provided by Goose & Berry, with a runners up prize of a smaller Hamper.

    Eligibility

    1. The competition is open to all Help in Hearing clients, both hearing aid wearers and earcare wax removal. Employees of Help in Hearing, their families, agents or any third party directly associated with the administration of the competition are not allowed to enter.
    1. More than one “entry” per person is permitted. There is only one winner and one runners-up.

     The Draw

    1. A winner will be chosen by a representative of Signia, who are sponsoring the prizes within 48 hours of the closing date.
    2. The winner will be notified by email or telephone and an appointment will be made to present the prize in one of our practices. If the prize is not taken up within 2 weeks of being chosen, then the winner’s prize will be forfeited, and Signia will be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above.
    1. The prize is non-exchangeable for anything else and non-transferable.
    2. There is no cash alternative offered.
    3. The decision of Signia with Help in Hearing regarding any aspect of the competition is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
    4. Help in Hearing reserves the right to hold void, cancel, suspend, or amend the promotion where it becomes necessary to do so.

    Limitation of liability

    1. Insofar as is permitted by law, Help in Hearing, and its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the prize. Statutory rights are however not affected.

    Data protection and publicity

    1. Help in Hearing is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and will only use your personal information in accordance with our data protection policy which is available to view on our website: helpinhearing.co.uk/data-protection-obligations-gdpr-legislation/
    2. By submitting photos to the competition, you are agreeing that they can be featured on our website, in social media and our electronic communication to clients. They may also be put up in the wall of our practices.

     

  • Successful Virtual Hearing Event

     

    In March we held our first ever Virtual Hearing Event. At Help in Hearing, we know the past year has been hard, especially for those with hearing loss and we were delighted so many of you were able to join our Zoom webinar.

    Conversations, communication and socialising are fundamental to our overall health and wellbeing, so it is not surprising that hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Hearing well has never been so important to ensure we stay connected with our friends, families and the community around us. This was the main focus of the seminar – and a reminder that…….

    Help in Hearing is open and we’re here to help

    We are now seeing many of our clients face to face but if you missed the seminar and would like to catch up on what was said, here is the link:

    Watch here

    Seminar delegates were entered into a prize draw to win a pair of Livio Edge AI hearing aids* (terms & conditions applied) and we are delighted to announce that our winner is Mr John Landon of Bledlow Ridge.

    Congratulations John (seen here with our audiologist Wendy Davies)  – we hope you will enjoy wearing them!

     

    Help in Hearing Virtual Hearing Event 25th March 2021 Prize Draw Terms & Conditions

    How to enter

    1. By registering and attending our Online Hearing Event on March 24th, your details will automatically be entered into our prize draw.
    2. Any attempted entries received after that date will not be accepted.
    3. Our prize draw is free to enter. By entering the prize draw, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you have any questions, please contact events@helpinhearing.co.uk

    The Prize

    1. The prize is a free hearing assessment, a pair of Starkey Livio AI hearing aids with a 4-year warranty and free fitting. Any follow up appointments after the first 60 days of fitting will be charged on a “Pay As You Go” basis. (Our appointment charges are clearly listed on our website at the bottom of this page: www.helpinhearing.co.uk/home/services/hearing-aid-pricing/)
    2. After fitting, the option to sign up to our Hearingplan Care Scheme will be available. The monthly direct debit is £25 and covers the cost of all ongoing appointments and hearing aid accessory items. (See Hearingplan terms and conditions for further information: www.helpinhearing.co.uk/home/services/personal-treatment-plan/).
    3. Help in Hearing refuse to award the prize to anyone in breach of these terms and conditions.

    Eligibility

    1. The draw is open to all delegates joining the online event except employees of Help in Hearing, their families, agents or any third party directly associated with the administration of the prize draw.
    2. Entrants under 18 must get consent from their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before registering. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of entrants under 18 agree to these Terms and Conditions on behalf of the entrant.
    3. Only one “entry” per person is permitted. There is only one prize of one pair of hearing aids.

     The Draw

    1. A winner will be chosen by random, drawn manually by Selma Becker, MD of Help in Hearing, within 24 hours of the Event.
    2. The winner will be notified by email or telephone (using details provided at entry) and an appointment will be made. If the prize is not taken up within 2 weeks of being chosen, then the winner’s prize will be forfeited, and Help in Hearing will be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above.
    3. The prize is non-exchangeable for any other hearing aid. If the winner decides they do not want the prize after all then the aids will be returned to Help in Hearing who will be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above.
    4. The prize is transferable if the winner wishes to nominate a suitable recipient. This nomination must be made within 2 weeks of the winner being notified.
    5. There is no cash alternative offered.
    6. The decision of Help in Hearing regarding any aspect of the prize draw is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
    7. Help in Hearing reserves the right to hold void, cancel, suspend, or amend the promotion where it becomes necessary to do so.

    Limitation of liability

    17.  Insofar as is permitted by law, Help in Hearing, and its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the prize. Statutory rights are however not affected.

    Data protection and publicity

    18. Help in Hearing is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and will only use your personal information in accordance with our data protection policy which is available to view on our website: www.helpinhearing.co.uk/data-protection-obligations-gdpr-legislation/

    19. By entering, you are agreeing that any personal information provided by you with your entry may be held and used by Help in Hearing (but not its agents or distributors) to administer the prize. The winner’s name will be announced in person to the winner but will also be stated in follow-up promotion of the competition. The winner’s permission will be sought with regards to a promotional photograph of the prize presentation.

     

  • Tinnitus Awareness Week

    Tinnitus Week 2021 will run from 1st  to 7th of February and will tackle the issues of accessing treatment and support from GP’s. 

    At the end of March 2020 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published new guidance for GP’s on how to support patients with Tinnitus. However the British Tinnitus Association are very concerned that this new guidance may have been  missed with the onset of Covid19. They plan to engage with GP’s when possible as well as patient support groups, healthcare associations,  politicians and people with Tinnitus to generate ideas to ensure the NICE guidance is used.

    The BTA are also running a new social media a campaign #ThisIsMySilence to drive awareness of the impact of Tinnitus. They are asking people with Tinnitus to get involved with the new campaign by sharing a photo and words on social media channels to explain to others the effect of Tinnitus. 

    As a hidden condition, people without tinnitus do not truly understand the huge impact it can have on someone’s life. It can effect the ability to get a peaceful night’s sleep, to concentrate, or just to enjoy silence. Tinnitus can and does have a huge impact on mental health and if awareness of this impact on people’s lives can be increase, the more likely the BTA will be successful in making tinnitus research funding an urgent priority.

    Get involved

    So, from 1 February to 7 February it’s simple. Choose a photo. Choose your words. The BTA say: “Be as honest and open as you like to explain your tinnitus – or the tinnitus of those you care about – to others. You can tag in friends, family, celebrities. The sky’s the limit. Our message is “Let’s get our voices heard this Tinnitus Week”

    Get involved with #ThisIsMySilence – use the hashtags #ThisIsMySilence and #TinnitusWeek on social media posts and then share and like as many posts as possible. To find out more contact the BTA or call their online support team on 0800 0180527.

    At Help in Hearing we offer Tinnitus management  and we also run a gold standard Support Group, which is currently not meeting due to covid19 restrictions but will eventually start up again. 

     Call freephone 0345 2220579 for information or email us mail@helpinhearing.co.uk

     

  • Countdown to Christmas……Kevin’s Favourite Recipe

    With Christmas round the corner we thought we would share a favourite festive recipe with you. Our audiologist Kevin Jeffery (seen here sporting a brussel sprout shirt) loves to cook and he is kindly sharing with us his special recipe for Chestnut Stuffing!

    Kev’s Chestnut Stuffing

    This was my Mum’s recipe at Christmas. It was the one thing I looked forward to more than the Turkey and rich gravy. I now must make it myself every year and even have a tradition that if I am going to friends or family…I will bring the chestnut stuffing. Not so much a tradition but a demand! I usually make it on Christmas eve and leave it in the fridge to develop so it’s ready to go on Christmas day!

    I have no idea about amounts in grams. Ounces. etc as it is always eyeballed! But you can’t really go wrong with it….? Serves 4 with some left over.

    INGREDIENTS: Sausage Meat (either a packet of or a packet of good quality sausages)

    1 small onion finely chopped

    2-3 cloves of Garlic, 1 if very large cloves

    Half a slice of bread.  White or Brown is fine

    Stuffing mix. (Yes Paxo Sage & Onion is perfect)

    Chestnut puree (half a packet) I use the Merchant Gourmet one that you can buy in the supermarkets or online

    Roasted Chestnuts (half a packet) chopped into quarters. Again, I use the Merchant Gourmet one

    Butter, Pepper, Mixed Herbs

    METHOD: Begin by either breaking/squishing down the sausage meat in a bowl or removing the skins from a packet of sausages and do the same.

    Add the chopped onion, garlic, good pinch of pepper, half a teaspoon of mixed herbs, Chestnut puree, quartered Chestnuts, about 2 dessert spoons of stuffing mix. Add the bread broken into small pieces – not breadcrumbs but more smallish flakes.

    Mix it all well together. There is only one way to do this and that is with your hands. Mixing, squishing and getting everything combined. If it becomes too soft and mushy then add more stuffing mix and a little more bread. Conversely if it is very dry then add more chestnut puree, or a tiny amount of water.

    Once all combined, place into a suitable oven proof dish greased with butter (there needs to be about an inch in thickness of stuffing mix, so it does not dry out). Spread evenly and press it into the dish and then prick it with a fork. Cover with cling film and place it in the fridge until needed. Ideally overnight. You can always wrap it in cling film if you intend to put it into the turkey on Christmas day…. I never have, however. On the big day of cooking. Take it out of the fridge at least half hour prior to putting in the oven, cling film removed of course! Put half a dozen small pieces of chilled butter over the top and around the sides.

    Place it in the oven at around 180C for about 40-45 minutes until browned on top and cooked through. Anywhere in a fan oven is ok, or higher racks in a conventional oven. Once cooked, cover with foil to keep warm and serve either small wedges, or just a good spoonful dolloped next to the Turkey. It is just as good the next day served cold with pickles etc.

    Hope you enjoy. Merry Christmas.

    Kevin.