Action on Hearing Loss Cymru is celebrating the launch of an innovative guide for care home staff to help them support residents with hearing loss.
The charity has been working with Age Cymru’s My Home Life Cymru(external link, opens new window) programme to produce the guide which aims to improve the quality of life of care home residents who have hearing loss.
Hearing Loss in Wales
More than 10 million people in the UK have hearing loss – about one in six of the population. The vast majority of these are older people with over 71% of over 70 year olds having some degree of hearing loss. The consequences of hearing loss can be debilitating. It can lead to loneliness, isolation and depression and this can be especially acute in a care home setting.
Quality of Life for residents with hearing loss
Action on Hearing Loss Cymru teamed up with the My Home Life Cymru programme to develop a practical resource to support care home staff. The guide “Quality of Life for Residents with Hearing Loss” aims to help care home staff identify signs of hearing loss and suggest tips on how to ensure that residents with hearing loss can be part of activities in the home.
One of the main issues for care home staff is the need for information and training on hearing aid maintenance. The guide signposts resources that can be of help for staff. The bilingual booklet will be distributed free to all 740 care homes in Wales.
Action on Hearing Loss Cymru is also working in partnership with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales(external link, opens new window), RNIB Cymru(external link, opens new window) and Sense Cymru(external link, opens new window) to develop standards on sensory loss which will be included in the inspection of care homes during 2013.
The guide was written with the support of care home workers who shared their tips on best practice in the care of people with hearing loss. Cheryl Merrony works at Castle Court care home in Chepstow and is called their “Hearing Aid Queen”. Cheryl lost a great deal of her hearing as a child and understands the problems facing residents with hearing loss.
“We have so many residents here who have hearing loss" she said "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 added; “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.”
The publication of the guide will be celebrated at an event in the Oriel of the Senedd at the National Assembly for Wales on Wednesday 9 January 2013 at 12.30. As well as our partners, Age Cymru some residents from care homes that are part of the My Home Life Cymru programme will be at the event.
My Home Life Cymru
My Home Life Cymru aims to celebrate existing best practice in care homes and promote care homes as a positive option for older people. The programme aims to do this through the development of a range of resources, events, practice development initiatives and other activities throughout Wales.
For further information
For more information on Action on Hearing Loss, Cymru, please contact Rachael.Earp@hearingloss.org.uk.
For more information about My Home Life Cymru, please visit www.agecymru.org.uk(external link, opens new window)