Dealing with hearing difficulties

Ron Scrimgeour and Forfar Probus Club president Les Craib at the lectern before the talk.
Ron Scrimgeour and Forfar Probus Club president Les Craib at the lectern before the talk.

RON Scrimgeour addressed 49 members of Forfar Probus Club as guest speaker last Tuesday.

For the last ten years Ron has been training employees in offices, banks and shops, etc., how to deal with the one in seven of the public who have hearing difficulties.

He warned his listeners that these problems can reduce the quality of life for an individual and their family.

We should look out for early signs - words picked up wrongly, constant asking for sentences to be repeated, turning up the TV volume and reluctance to use the telephone.

People dealing with the public should try and gauge if their customer is having problems - keep your speech volume up but not shouting, sit in good light and face the customer with good eye contact, smile often, don’t interrupt when the hard-of-hearing person replies, don’t cover the mouth and organise your thoughts in a short direct message that can be easily understood.

Ron explained how hearing can deteriorate with age and noise damage to the sensory neurons, high frequency consonants in speech being the first casualties, and although hearing aids have improved by leaps and bounds, they are not a cure-all, only amplifying the hearing that we still have, as well as increasing all the background noise we can do without. Ian Stewart proposed the vote of thanks for a talk which members had found fascinating, informative and personally very relevant.

Ron Scrimgeour and Forfar Probus Club president Les Craib are pictured at the lectern before the talk.