The trouble with hearing is…many of us can’t

Maria Menconi

Did you know that according to the National Institute on Deafness, a part of the National Institute on Hearing, roughly one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss and half of people over the age of 75 are affected with a hearing impairment of some kind? Wow! Think about what that means to our SaddleBrooke population! And think about how important it is that our facilities here accommodate this important need. Hearing loss can happen in many ways, it can be age related, it can be noise induced, it can occur as the result of some medical conditions, just to name some common causes. But, most importantly, making the decision to address a hearing loss is key.

Here is the story of one of our residents and how she took the big step of addressing her hearing loss. Jennifer Jefferis now wears a Bone Anchored Hearing System (known as a BAHA). Jennifer says, “The trouble with hearing is – I can’t. A couple of years ago some friends asked us out to dinner. I noticed the room wasn’t too noisy when we arrived that night, so I figured I could deal with it; the not hearing part. Just a short time after we met, right in the middle of a sentence, Judy Kroese turned to me and said, “You’re reading my lips, aren’t you?” Her statement was direct, calm and kind. Then she said, “You are watching for my body language, too.” To both statements I answered, “Yes, I am.” I knew that she knew my secret. She explained to me that she had a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology and a Doctorate in Psychology. I knew she knew her stuff and she had my full attention.

Hiding my hearing problem was becoming exhausting and I finally met someone who was honest and kind enough to know it and say it! Her words marked the beginning of my journey to hearing health. They were life giving because she also guided me to find out what I could do about it. She turned out to be the best friend I could have ever imagined.” For Jennifer, having someone that she could confide in could change the way she lives the rest of her life. Many people who suffer from a hearing impairment may decide to enlist the help of some Interpreters who can help them when they don’t know where else to turn. They could help the most if you decide to watch a play at the theater or if you’re going somewhere that doesn’t have auditory access. It’s all about finding the right help and support for your needs.

With her improved ability to hear more and a passion for helping others, Jennifer moved forward and started the Peer Discussion for Better Hearing Group. They have been meeting regularly in SaddleBrooke and growing in size since late 2018. Their mission is to raise awareness about hearing loss in our community and to help SaddleBrooke residents learn more about addressing their hearing issues. Along with students and staff from the University of Arizona to support the group, they are asking our community to join them and get healthy, too. The Peer Discussion for Better Hearing group meets monthly. Please come join and find out what you need to do in a friendly, caring, supportive group of neighbors who understand. The meetings will be held:

Thursday, March 14, 2019:

Ballroom West, MountainView

Thursday, April 11, 2019:

Cactus Room, MountainView

Thursday, May 9, 2019:

Cactus Room MountainView

Thursday, June 13, 2019:

Cactus Room MountainView

Thursday, July 11, 2019:

Cactus Room, MountainView

Please contact Dick or Judy Kroese: 520-360-5789 [email protected] or Jennifer Jefferis 360-909-6212 [email protected] with questions or for more information.