More than 880,000, or nearly 19 percent, of New Zealanders are estimated to be living with some form of hearing loss.
According to a National Foundation for the Deaf research report, released earlier this year, there is significant economic loss attached to this statistic. The report shows productivity losses of $552 million a year or $627 per person.
Life Unlimited Charitable Trust hearing therapy manager, Jessica Lissaman, says the impact on people’s lives can also be huge because hearing loss can lead to a lack of self-confidence, withdrawal, loneliness and social isolation.
Life Unlimited is contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide a free and independent hearing therapy (aural rehabilitation) service to New Zealanders aged 16 years and over. The service is offered in Orewa on a fortnightly basis, by hearing therapist Jacqui Taylor.
“As well as hearing tests, we can give independent advice on using hearing aids and/or other listening devices,” Jacqui says.
“We can also refer people to other health services if needed and we are available to deliver presentations around hearing issues to community organisations and run group workshops about communication skills and strategies for people who have hearing loss.”
Info: Call 0800 008 011