Hearing loss is often referred to as a hidden disability, with 40% of people over 50 suffering from some deterioration.
Salisbury Community Lipreading Group is offering sufferers the chance to learn to lip read while making new friends.
Why do people learn to lip read, you might ask? For a start, hearing aids are not ideal in crowded situations.
Lip reading can help distinguish missed words.
Because lipreading can help us to better understand what we see and hear, enabling us to take a more active part in conversations.
Lip readers can function better in a hearing world. Those who have a hearing loss may feel very left out when family and friends are in conversation because they are unable to follow accurately what they say.
Hearing impaired people tend to avoid social situations, which means they risk becoming isolated, depressed and forgotten.
And because microphones and loop systems are not always available or working (shouting is no help, in case you were wondering).
The Alzheimer’s Society informs us that ‘it is common for people to develop gradual hearing loss as they age.
People with hearing loss are also more likely to develop dementia, although at present we don’t know why this is’.
Lip reading can be a lifeline, enabling those with hearing loss to be more confident and to take an active part in many large and small group situations.
“It is fun to learn. We have a hilarious time analysing our mistakes,” says Linda White, a regular at the Salisbury Community Lipreading Group.
“Hearing loss can bring such isolation and loss of confidence. It is tempting to just hide away.
“The support and tips can be a huge help, but a major reason to come to lip reading is for the companionship with other people in the same boat.”
Beginners classes on Mondays at 11am and on Wednesdays at 9am from the end of January. Fast track and Advanced sessions are held on the same days.
The sessions are held at St Thomas’ House. There is no fee, simply pay by donation whenever Contact Linda on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.