A: CHC was founded in 1910, initially to help people with hearing loss find work and to provide mental health counseling. There was an individual who reportedly wanted to kill himself because his hearing loss was making it impossible for him to find a job, and three of his friends wanted to make sure that he, and others like him, could get the support they needed.
Q:What is the most important thing that people should know about hearing loss?
A:The impact of hearing loss is greater than most people think. It affects communication and isolates people from others. But also, if left untreated, it can speed up cognitive decline and puts a person at greater risk for falls, loneliness, and depression.
Q:How can family and friends help someone who has hearing loss or is experiencing hearing loss for the first time?
A:Be patient and understanding. If someone is trying to get used to a hearing aid, know that it takes time, it is not a quick fix, and it’s an adjustment. If you are having a conversation, and the person misses something, please don’t say “Oh, never mind, it’s not important.” It is important to the person. Try repeating once and if that doesn’t work, try re-phrasing what you are saying. Let them know you understand they are trying and that you want to help. You can also ask them what help they need.
Q:How has recent technology affected hearing healthcare?
A:With all the advances in digital technology and connectivity, hearing aids have advanced dramatically. Digital aids provide a much higher quality of sound than the hearing aids of years ago. With Bluetooth connectivity, hearing aids can now be used much more easily with cellphones, with personal sound systems, and more. And with the availability and ease of texting and email today, people with hearing loss are more on an even “footing” with those without hearing loss. Texting has become the great equalizer.
Q:How do you see RapidSOS technology helping CHC’s mission?
A:RapidSOS is a greatequalizer for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. In an emergency situation, where time is often of the essence, they would have the same access to emergency help and not need to be concerned about not hearing or understanding instructions or questions from the responder.
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