MSP Supports Charities’ Services for Older Veterans who have Hearing Loss

Derek Mackay MSP is backing a charity’s call for Renfrewshire residents to volunteer for a service supporting older veterans whose lives have been affected by hearing loss.

The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West found out about the local Hearing Forces service when speaking with veterans and Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Angela Paton and Caroline McDonald during a visit to a hearing aid support session in the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre, Bishopton.

George Sharp said:

“Hearing Forces provides a friendly service which helps us to hear our friends and family much better through the maintenance and cleaning of our hearing aids, and the provision of batteries to keep them working. When I see people at the centre struggling with hearing loss, I always encourage them to visit the support sessions.”

The MSP was also advised that Hearing Forces, which is part of the Unforgotten Forces consortium led by Poppyscotland, also informs veterans aged 65 or over about assistive equipment, such as amplified telephones or personal listeners, that can make life easier.

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Angela Paton said:

“We thank Derek Mackay MSP for visiting our Hearing Forces session to see how our one-to-one support is transforming the everyday lives of older veterans by enabling them to follow conversations, listen to their favourite television programmes or hear sounds such as birdsong which they haven’t experienced, in some cases, for many years.

“We’d love to speak with people in Renfrewshire who are interested in volunteering for our service so that we can run sessions more frequently to reach more veterans and help them to hear their comrades and relatives through using hearing aids or assistive technology.”

Derek Mackay MSP said:

“I was delighted to speak with several veterans at the Hearing Forces session who have hearing loss and are being supported by Erskine and Action on Hearing Loss Scotland to live independently and develop their IT or art skills as well as access mindfulness and holistic therapies.

“It’s great to see the charities working together in the Unforgotten Forces partnership to help those who served the country to overcome issues relating to their hearing loss and become both socially and physically active.

“I encourage residents in Renfrewshire to come forward to volunteer and provide life-enhancing support which can be appreciate by many more older veterans in our communities who have lost their hearing.”

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is looking for volunteers to give a few hours of their time every month. Training about deaf awareness, communication tips and assistive equipment will be provided by the charity and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s audiology department will show the volunteers how to carry out basic hearing aid maintenance.

For more details, email: hearing.forces@hearingloss.org.uk or telephone/text 07388 227407.

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