Selma Becker, Senior Manager and Hearing Aid Audiologist
Welcome to our May online newsletter
A very warm welcome to you all. It is a beautiful sunny day as I write this and the road map out of lockdown continues to roll out. It has been a long hard winter for you all and we can now all hopefully enjoy more freedom and time with friends and family.
Conversations, communication and socialising are fundamental to our overall health and wellbeing, so hearing well has never been more important, to ensure we stay connected with our friends, families and the community around us.
The work of Help In Hearing is so important that it was classed as an essential service and we therefore stayed open throughout the pandemic, with a very strict infection control policy which remains in place. Our audiology team continues to wear their new uniforms and PPE, following our strict guidelines.
Our diary is getting busy and we hope to see more of you in the coming weeks. To reassure you I thought I would share some recent client comments with you:
“My visit to Help in Hearing was long overdue but was very safely managed by Kevin, despite having to wear masks, hand cleansing, etc. because of the pandemic.”
“Everything was explained fully, and I felt very safe in the current conditions.”
“Wendy was very patient, flexible and helpful in the difficult circumstances of the covid pandemic. Security and hygiene levels were high, and the practice was very accommodating.”
“Your ongoing care, kindness and professionalism, along with your attention to detail, engenders such a safe space, especially in these challenging times. The Help in Hearing team are indeed very special, and I recommend them whenever I can!”
“ I have absolute faith in the advice/treatment I am given. I thought all staff were taking appropriate precautions to be able to protect themselves sufficiently to maintain their service and protect their clients”
“Friendly, helpful & knowledgeable service. Easy parking along with strict Covid 19 step in place.”
“Very good social distancing and excellent hygiene. Very good treatment. Felt very safe.”
Before you read on, I just wanted to welcome our new recruit Natalya who is settling in very well as an Apprentice Administrator and also a special mention to Wendy, who not only works full time for us but has also worked as a Covid Volunteer at her local vaccination centre, as well as running some audiology clinics remotely for the Falkland Islands from our Farnham Common practice.
Well done Wendy!
I do hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and looking forward to seeing you at your next appointment.
Note from the editor
Review Us for Charity
In May last year we were due to celebrate the 15th year anniversary of Help in Hearing, with a Charity Gala Dinner. Understandably we had to postpone the event and although we were initially still planning to hold it in May 2021, we had to sadly make the decision to postpone our celebrations for another year.
In spite of cancelling, we still raised over £4000 for our chosen charities – Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, National Deaf Children’s Society and local charity Alzheimer Dementia Support. To keep our fundraising going in 2021 we are pledging a donation for every new review we receive on Facebook and Google. We would love to hear from you.
If you have been delighted with the services that we offer, we would really appreciate it if you could click and review us on one of these links below. It is really easy but if you’re not sure take a look at our instructions here:
We hope you enjoy this newsletter. Please send us any feedback or requests you may have, so we can ensure we are providing the information that you would like to receive. We love hearing from you so please don’t forget to send in any of your own stories and follow us on social media. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook.
Win a Goose & Berry Hamper!
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 through the summer, from May 31st to 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.
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 to gilly@helpinhearing 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
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.
Anyone who buys a new pair of hearing aids between May 1st and July 1st will be offered a complimentary TV streamer worth up to £250. Call to book in 03452220579. Or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted to welcome the lovely Natalya Knight to our team as an Apprentice Administrator. Having left school at 16 with some fantastic GSCE results, Natalya decided to join the Apprenticeship scheme to advance her career in business administration. She has a bubbly personality, has two cats called Toffee and Tim, and when asked about her main hobbies, she said that “socialising” has always been top of her list but with all the Covid restrictions, she has recently taken up weighted hula hooping instead. Sounds interesting!!
Local Litter Picking venture for HiH Team
As the weather gets better, you may notice 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, we will be rolling up our sleeves and donning our gloves on a sunny afternoon in May. Look out for photos of the team on our website, social media and in our next newsletter.
Winner of our Virtual Event Prize Draw
At our recent Virtual Hearing Event, we held a free prize draw for all the delegates who joined our seminar. We are delighted to announce that our winner is Mr John Landon from Bledlow Ridge, now the proud owner of a pair of the latest Starkey aids, the Livio Edge AI Rechargeables. Seen here being presented with his new devices by Wendy. Mr Landon has now been in for a fitting and is getting on well with his new aids. We look forward to seeing him again for a follow-up.
Exercise, quit smoking and give your ears a rest!
We thought you might be interested in an article which first featured in the Times on April 6th regarding a recent study which found that 7.6 per cent of people infected with Covid-19 experienced hearing loss, while 14.8 per cent suffer from tinnitus. In this article some industry experts share their top tips on how to protect your hearing:- Exercise, quit smoking and give your ears a rest!!
In March we held our first ever Virtual Hearing Event. We know the past year has been hard, especially for those with hearing loss and we were delighted so many 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.
We decided to hold this online seminar to discuss how important it is to look after your hearing to help you age better mentally and physically as it is actually linked to other health conditions. We also wanted to demonstrate how we have been running our clinics since the lockdown and reassure our clients that their safety is of the utmost importance. Mask wearing has become an issue for many people who have hearing aids so we also gave tips on how to cope with them. Overall we wanted to remind people 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:
We are delighted to announce that we are holding this year’s first Tinnitus Support Group meeting in our Marlow Practice garden.
Thursday May 27th
6.00pm – 7.30pm (weather permitting)
The Garden, Cedar House, Glade Road, Marlow SL7 1DQ
Restricted numbers, so registration compulsory. Please call 0345 2220579 or email email@example.com
Bring your own chair and drink.
At Help in Hearing we offer Tinnitus pre-assessment consultations. As well as a hearing test, this offers clients the opportunity to discuss their Tinnitus journey with a trained audiologist. You can then decide if a full management programme or onward referral is the right pathway for you. Call us on 0345 2220579 if you want to discuss this further or know someone that does.
One of the three Charities that we support is Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Over the last few years we have held a series of fundraising events with them including coffee mornings at Farnham Common library, Quiz Nights at the South Bucks Golf Club and the Dog Show at the Stoke Poges Village Fete – see Wendy and Gilly in the photo.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People were founded at Crufts in 1982. The dogs were trained in the living room of founding member Gill Lacey, with just three members of staff and the very first dog was called Favour, now the name of their regular newsletter. Since these humble beginnings they have gone from strength to strength and currently have almost 1,000 working hearing dog partnerships across the UK.
In 2019-20 their services supported 4,835 deaf individuals and their family members, with 982 hearing dog partnerships providing a range of other personalised services. Thousands of deaf people have been assisted, including support groups and a dedicated Helpdesk.
They have a fantastic HQ based near Princes Risborough, with a wonderful café called The Grange which is dog friendly of course – I have enjoyed many a lazy brunch and can highly recommend the trip out, with al Fresco Dining a current option.
The staff and volunteers train dogs to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds they would otherwise miss – sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. What’s more, a hearing dog can give a deaf person a newfound sense of independence and confidence now they have a loyal companion and a true friend by their side, and they have even saved lives.
To make sure we are offering the best possible service, we regularly send out a feedback survey to clients. We are so grateful that you have taken the time to respond. Here are just a few comments:
Pamela Cowsley, a client since 2011
“I am grateful to the Help in Hearing Team for providing a service that not only improves my hearing but has given me strategies to make the most of my hearing in difficult situations so enhancing confidence “
A new client who needed a referral to ENT
“I was quickly given an appointment, Wendy was very welcoming and the test were helpful, and the ongoing referral was handled quickly”
New hearing aid fitting in April 2021
“Excellent setup from arrival to departure. The whole process was like clockwork”
A client since 2018
“I come all the way from Marylebone for one reason only: I have absolute trust and confidence in Selma’s professionalism.”
A client since 2011
“I have been a client of Help in Hearing for many years. I have been looked after by Kevin Jeffrey who has been most helpful and has become a friend. I see him every now and again when I need his expertise and assistance. He has always looked after me very well. I hope to continue to have his help in the future. “
Anthony John Robinson
A client since 2015
“Excellent friendly but highly professional service. Worth driving 180 miles for ( round trip).”
Robert S Keating
A client since 2013
“In my experience Selma and her team offer a highly professional service, provide a variety of options in terms of hearing aids and, in particular, a superb after sales service. Would not hesitate to recommend Help in Hearing.”
A new hearing aid fitting in October 2020
“Wendy was very patient, flexible and helpful in the difficult circumstances of the covid pandemic. Security and hygiene levels were high and the practice was very accommodating. I was able to try two hearing aids and could probably have tried more if needed. The only issues were due to the pandemic. Fine tuning the hearing aid is quite difficult when the audiologist and customer are both wearing masks. Nevertheless we are moving forward and I hope that, by June/July it will be possible to see if further improvements can be made mask free. Otherwise I thought the aids were somewhat expensive but this is very much balanced by the service provided and, very importantly, the convenience of Help in Hearing being in the village. “
A new hearing aid fitting in March 2021
“As soon as I met Selma she made me feel relaxed ,about having to wear hearing aids. She was very helpful and willing to answer any questions or queries I had.”
An Earcare client since 2017
“I have my ears cleared of wax every 6 months and have done so for some years now. Its such an easy, no hassle procedure and delivered with care and smiles. ”
A hearing aid client since 2012
“The attention that I have received over the years has been exceptional. No problem was too much trouble and a great effort was made to solve the problem”.
A hearing aid client since 2019
“Because as well as being an expert on hearing aids, Kevin is always helpful about general ear health and very generous with his time. His argument is that he is looking after your hearing, not just your hearing aids. ”
A hearing aid client since 2014
“I have always found Help in Hearing to be excellent, Happy to give friendly advice and to resolve any problems you might have without ever trying to push for sales.”
A recent earcare client
“I feel that I could not get a better service anyway. I was treated with respect and nothing was too much trouble. I also learnt some things about my hearing and how to my look after my ears. The service was both friendly and professional. Were I not moving to Somerset I would have no hesitation in using your clinic again.”
Some tips on auditory stimulation
Auditory Workouts Can Help Hearing
Over the last year social isolation has led to a marked decline in many people’s cognitive processes, making it even more important to look after your hearing. Over 11 million people in the UK (1 in 6) are deaf or have hearing loss. It has been proven that wearing hearing aids can help reduce cognitive decline and yet only 2 million people actually wear hearing aids.
And this decline in hearing may potentially have been exacerbated by the lockdown restrictions keeping people at home with no social stimulation.
Indeed, Selma has noticed a definite decline in the cognitive and auditory processes of the clients that have been unable to see us in the last year. Intervention is highly recommended to keep socially active and mentally fit. Now we can begin to see family and friends again, improving your hearing can lead to a huge improvement in the quality of your life.
Some of our clients are benefiting from taking up auditory work-outs, which we are now highly recommending. We all know the value of keeping our bodies fit but it is just as important to keep your hearing and ears in great shape as there is such a close link to our cognitive ability.
Using a smartphone or a tablet, you can download Apps that let you challenge your hearing and practice – we recommend Heroes or HearCoach. These games challenge cognitive and auditory sharpness to help improve listening ability in noise. Having been at home for so many months not exposed to noise-related social situations, it can be a real shock to join in group conversations, so it is well worth taking a look at these apps, or making an appointment to see us.
We would be very happy to advise you. For more information or to make an appointment please call us on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online form
“More” Aids from Oticon
Oticon say that their new “More” aids allow you to experience the full sound scene in all its richness.
Continuing their BrainHearing™ philosophy, the new aids support your brain by giving it access to the full sound scene.
A new microchip enables More aids to use new technology – a Deep Neural Network (DNN) which they say mimics how the brain works and has learned to recognize all kinds of sounds in fine detail – so it knows how they should ideally sound. They believe that the result is a more natural representation of all sounds in a clear, complete, and balanced sound scene – so that hearing aid wearers get more from every listening situation.
What’s more, the Oticon ON app helps personalise the listening experience via a new streaming equalizer to allow fine-tuning of the sound when streaming. You can also adjust the volume, change the programme, check the battery level, and control other Oticon devices. It even comes with a “Find my hearing aids” feature. For more information, visit oticon.co.uk/connectivity
To find out more book in to see Selma, Wendy or Kevin. Call 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.
The Adventures of an Audiologist
Wendy talks about her experience of providing audiology in the Falkland Islands
I first got involved with audiology services in the Falklands in 2000 when I travelled to the Islands to work in their hospital for 2 weeks.
With a population of just 3,480, The Falkland Islands does not have an Audiologist in full time residence. Patients requiring hearing tests and hearing aids are supported by the GPs and the Speech & Language Therapist. Once a year, an Audiologist visits from the UK for 2 weeks along with an ENT consultant. I have been lucky enough to make the 16-hour flight several times, the last time was over 10 years ago.
8,700 Mile Trip
I have kept in touch with the Speech & Language Therapist (Sue) who asked if I would be the visiting Audiologist again for 2021. I jumped at the chance and was looking forward to meeting Sue, the hospital team and patients again but then, of course, COVID happened. So, instead of taking the 8,700 mile trip, I supported hearing aid users in the South Atlantic remotely from my consulting room in Farnham Common.
Using the latest technology, I was able to take control of the computer in the Falklands to remotely test hearing and program hearing aids, while speaking to the patients via a video call. Sue was with the patients in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, in the Islands capital, Stanley, to provide remote support, fit the headphones and put batteries into hearing aids.
Sue and I saw around 40 patients across 8 days. Fortunately, the time difference between the UK and The Falklands is only 3 hours in the winter and 4 hours in the summer!
Departing at Midnight
There are 3 main ways to travel to the Falklands; on the Falklands Islands Government airbridge which is a flight from RAF Brize Norton via Ascension Island, a commercial flight via Spain and Chile or by cruise ship. I have always travelled via the airbridge which departs around midnight. The flight consists mainly of soldiers being shipped to their new posting in the Islands and a few civilians, such as visiting specialists like me. The flight stops at Ascension Island for about an hour for a change of crew and a welcome opportunity for passengers to stretch their legs and then onwards to RAF Mount Pleasant, two miles outside of Stanley.
Sue would meet me at the airport in the hospital’s Land Rover Defender – the vehicle of choice for most of the Islands – looking at the picture of the main road from RAF Mount Pleasant to Stanley, you can see why.
Visits usually lasted for 2 weeks and I worked at KEMH during the week seeing patients for hearing tests, hearing aid fitting and advice. The Falklands is made up of hundreds of small islands. The areas outside Stanley are referred to as Camp and there are various small settlements scattered throughout Camp, usually with their own generators and often powered by wind turbines.
Residents of Camp might only travel to Stanley once or twice a year, for example, for hospital appointments, using the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS), a fleet of small aircraft that seats around 8 passengers. During my first couple of visits to KEHM, Sue and I packed up our audiology kit, boarded one of the FIGAS planes and took the clinic out to Camp instead of the residents travelling into Stanley – quite an experience!
At weekends, Sue arranged excursions to explore the Islands and see the wildlife – especially the penguins. One of my favourite trips was to Volunteer Point to see the King Penguins and a group of young Gentoo penguins who seemed as fascinated with us as we were with them, creating a semi-circle around us while we took photos.
My last day at KEMH was usually spent ensuring that all patient notes were completed and discussing any procedure changes and new hearing technology to keep Sue updated before heading back to RAF Mount Pleasant for the long journey home. I have had some wonderful experiences and although remote audiology has worked well, I very much look forward to returning again one day.
If you’d like to know more about any of the stories or events in this newsletter, or if you have a story you think might be of interest to our readers, please click the button below to send us an email.