Bessie Lundie is a resident at Castle Court care home in Chepstow. She says she's delighted with the attention paid to her hearing loss by staff there.
The guide was written with the help of care home workers. Cheryl Merrony, who works in Chepstow and lost a great deal of her own hearing as a child, was among those sharing their tips.
– Cheryl Merrony, care home worker
We have so many residents here who have hearing loss, around three quarters of them have hearing aids, and because I understand what it’s like when you have problems, I decided to look after them myself. Every day I check with the residents that their hearing aids are switched on properly, batteries are working and that there’s no whistling of any blockages in the tubes.
– Richard Williams, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru
Working with the My Home Life Cymru to produce this publication has been a great opportunity for Action on Hearing Loss Cymru to help care home staff get a better understanding of the realities of life for people with hearing loss. It can take some time to adjust to wearing a hearing aid and it’s important that older people in care homes get the support they need to make the most of hearing aids, including regular maintenance.
All 740 care homes in Wales are being given a written guide on how to help improve the quality of life of residents who have hearing loss.
It's been put together by Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, as part of a wider project by Age Cymru on promoting best practice in care homes.
The guide aims to help care home staff identify signs of hearing loss and suggest tips on ensuring residents with hearing loss can be part of activities in the home. Maintaining older people's hearing aids is an important practical example.
A new guide for care home staff to help them support residents with hearing loss is being launched today.
The charity has been working with Age Cymru's My Home Life Cymru programme to produce the guide which aims to improve the quality of life of care home residents who have hearing loss.
There are around 530,000 people in Wales who suffer from hearing loss. In the UK about 71 per cent of people over the age of 70 have some degree of hearing loss.
The charity says that the consequences of hearing loss can be debilitating, with it leading to loneliness, isolation and depression. It says it can be "especially acute" in a care home setting.
As part of the programme, a bilingual booklet will be distributed free to all 740 care homes in Wales. The booklet is aimed at providing care home staff with information and training on hearing aid maintenance.