Over the next three years, national charity Action on Hearing Scotland’s Hearing Forces service will be recruiting volunteers across the country to provide 1,500 veterans aged 65 and over, their families and carers with vital information and support to help them to cope with their hearing loss or tinnitus.
The new service, part of the Unforgotten Forces collaboration of 15 organisations led by Poppyscotland, will offer hearing aid support, information about ways to reduce the impacts of tinnitus and advice about assistive equipment, such as amplified telephones or personal listeners, which can make everyday life easier.
Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “Due to the environments in which they have served, veterans are more likely to have noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus, and are just as susceptible to acquiring age-related hearing loss as everyone in our society.
“With the vital support offered by our Hearing Forces staff and dedicated volunteers, we want to ensure that veterans across Scotland as well as their families or carers who have hearing loss or tinnitus don’t experience social isolation and are able to continue communicating with their friends or neighbours and remain active in their community.”
Gary Gray, Head of Welfare Services at Poppyscotland, said: “We are delighted that Hearing Forces is joining with all the partners in the Unforgotten Forces consortium to provide more holistic support for aged veterans, their families and carers who have hearing loss or tinnitus everywhere in Scotland.
“This service is the latest example of the consortium making a positive contribution towards improving the quality of life for older veterans, and no doubt there will be more to come in the weeks and months ahead.”
Joyce Woods from Letham, Perthshire who served in Royal Navy Nursing Services between 1960-1962: “As someone with hearing loss myself who has been helped by Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s services, I’m looking forward to volunteering for Hearing Forces as it is important that all older veterans with hearing loss or tinnitus are better informed about the full range of services and technology that is available to help them to live life to the full.”