There comes a stage for most of us when we have our hearing aids and we begin the slow process of learning to live with them and with our hearing loss. All too often this is a time of isolation. Even those who have loving supportive family and friends can still feel very much on their own during this often worrying time, during the hearing loss journey.
The reason why hearing loss may feel isolating and lonely, despite those around us, is simple. With the best will in the world, a person with normal hearing cannot begin to understand or appreciate the struggles, concerns, and worries of someone with hearing difficulties.
There is sometimes an expectation from those with good hearing, that once we have hearing aids in our possession, all should be right with our world. No, not quite. Hearing aids are a useful tool and in many cases can offer a very good degree of hearing, but let’s be honest, they’re not the same as a perfectly normal pair of fully working and operational ears.
Read more: New to hearing loss? 3 ways to be an advocate for your hearing loss journey
Things don’t have to be so distancing just because we are now different, doesn’t mean that we have to act helpless. There are a number of ways we can help our self and in doing so contribute to society in a way in which we are uniquely equipped to do so.
Volunteering can be the perfect way of pushing yourself back into the mainstream world again, after diagnosis and hearing aid fitting. We can, of course, volunteer with any charity, but what better way to rise above our daily challenges than to help others in a similar and often far worse situation.
“Volunteering can be the perfect way of pushing yourself back into the mainstream world again, after diagnosis and hearing aid fitting.”
Hearing loss charities are in need of willing volunteers and those with hearing loss are very special to them. Why? Well, the answer is a simple one. Who better to understand what hearing loss and the whole hearing aid journey, than those in the hot seat?
I am a volunteer for the UK charity Hearing Link and so can only really speak with authority on ways people are able to help, as regards this particular charity. However, voluntary roles are not that dissimilar across the board.
Most volunteering roles are about spreading awareness about hearing loss. Whether it is helping out with advertising for the charity or helping out with events, you are a part of spreading the word.
This is a very important because the more people who become aware of a charity, the more good that charity can do. This really can and does changes the lives of others with hearing loss in your own community. Imagine how happy the knowledge of providing a helping hand to others who are in a similar situation to yourself will make you feel.
Also, for family, friends and those who would greatly benefit from a greater understanding of hearing loss and its effects on people’s lives.
As a volunteer, you will have full support, backing and enough training to ensure you have the confidence to be able to successfully fulfill your role.
Volunteering isn’t just about doing something for the sake of it. It is about making a real difference and a worthwhile contribution to those with hearing loss. As a volunteer, you don’t need to have any specific skills or experience. Just a willingness to put yourself forward and be there for others.
“As a volunteer, you don’t need to have any specific skills or experience. Just a willingness to put yourself forward and be there for others.”
Being of service to others greatly helps our own feelings of self-esteem and benefits our confidence. When you get involved helping people, it takes your mind of your own difficulties and enables you to put things in perspective. Problems tend to become challenges when we see that there are always those far worse off than ourselves.
So what are you waiting for? Why not contact a hearing loss charity today and offer a few hours of your time. You won’t be paid for your time, but the benefits you reap, money certainly cannot buy.
Do you volunteer for a hearing loss charity? Let us know in the comments!