Help at hand for veterans with sensory impairment

Hearing (1)

Poppyscotland is holding an open day at its welfare centre in Inverness. 

25th November 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Poppyscotland is holding an open day to give veterans with sensory impairment an opportunity to discover the range of support available to them.

The event will be held at the charity’s Inverness Welfare Centre on Wednesday, 4 December, with representatives from a number of organisations on hand to speak to former members of the armed forces.

Around one in six ex-service personnel suffer from some form of sensory loss, with hearing loss particularly prevalent.

Nina Semple, Poppyscotland’s Inverness welfare services manager, said: “We are asking all members of the Armed Forces community to come down to the centre next week so that they can speak with providers in a welcoming and relaxed environment in order to boost their knowledge and understanding of the range of sensory impairment supports available locally and how to access them.

“Serious instances of hearing and sight loss impact significantly on an individual’s life, both physically and psychologically. Sensory impairment can have a hugely detrimental effect on every aspect of life. That veterans under the age of 75 are approximately three-and-a-half-times more likely than the general population to suffer some sort of hearing impairment is a statistic that indicates a serious problem amongst the armed forces population.

“Sight loss, whatever the cause, has a significant impact on an individual’s independence and can be very isolating. Given the risk of sight loss increases significantly with age, thousands of older veterans in Scotland are affected.”

Two charities taking part in the open day are Scottish War Blinded and Action on Hearing Loss Scotland.

Rebecca Barr, director of Scottish War Blinded, said: “Many veterans, such as those who completed National Service, have aged related sight loss and we’re here to offer them support.

“From advice from our expert rehabilitation team and one-on-one support with our outreach workers, to specialist equipment and local social events, there are so many ways we can help our veterans to adapt to life with sight loss and maintain independence.”

Ms Barr added that the charity offered support no matter the cause of sight loss.

Teri Devine, director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We look forward to joining up with partners to support older veterans in Inverness who have questions or concerns about hearing loss. We are also able to offer hearing aid support to veterans with NHS hearing aids. 

“We want, especially in the run up to Christmas, to ensure that veterans get the most from their hearing aids and are able to hear more clearly and follow conversations with friends, family and neighbours.”

For more information on Poppyscotland’s Sensory Impairment Open Day, contact the charity on 01463 710 300 or email [email protected]