HearPeers Mentor Programme matches those with a hearing loss with mentors who have been through similar experiences, and can help them make difficult treatment choices
November 17, 2015 – Barnsley, UK – From today, people in the UK will be able to benefit from a new mentoring programme aimed at providing support to those with hearing loss. The nationwide initiative, which is being launched in the UK region by local ‘mentor’ Sarah Mould, aims to provide advice and support from someone who has been through a similar experience.
Hearing loss affects one in every ten people in the UK and can be a challenging and daunting condition. Once diagnosed, there are a number of available treatment options, ranging from traditional behind the ear hearing aids to surgically inserted hearing implants. Choosing the most appropriate option can be difficult for people living with hearing loss and requires careful consultation with their audiologist as well as consideration of personal preference.
MED-EL UK Ltd., the hearing company behind the mentoring programme, hopes that being able to talk to someone who has been through a similar experience, as well as their audiologist, will take some of the burden off of patients facing difficult treatment decisions. Cassandra Brown, Managing Director of MED-EL, commented:
“The HearPeers Mentor Programme is designed to first and foremost provide support for people with a hearing loss who feel they would benefit from talking to someone who has gone through a similar experience. We would encourage anyone who wants to speak to someone for friendly, practical advice, to visit the HearPeers website and get in touch with a mentor near them.”
The programme is not only limited to those who are yet to decide on their treatment option, but also provides support for those who have already chosen their treatment, particularly individuals who will undergo surgery for hearing implantation. While not appropriate for all patients, a hearing implant is a treatment solution for some people for their hearing loss. These surgically implanted devices are inserted under the skin and can provide better outcomes to those who are no longer receiving any benefit from their hearing aids. There around 10,000 people in the UK who currently have hearing implants, with this number expected to rise.
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There are more than 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss. Around 6.4 million are of retirement age (65+) and about 3.7 million are of working age (16 – 64). There are over 45,000 deaf children living in the UK. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030 adult onset hearing loss will be in the top ten disease burdens in the UK, above both diabetes and cataracts.
HearPeers is a mentor programme designed for both people who are considering undergoing an operation for a surgical hearing implant, as well as those that have been newly implanted. It allows them to pair up with someone who has already undergone the procedure and understands the challenges and opportunities this may bring in everyday life. People interested in the HearPeers Mentor Programme can sign up via: www.hearpeers.uk.
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Austria-based MED-EL Medical Electronics is a leading provider of hearing implant systems with 29 subsidiaries worldwide. The family-owned business is one of the pioneers in the industry. The two Austrian scientists Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair developed the world’s first microelectronic multichannel cochlear implant in 1977. The cochlear implant was and remains the first replacement of a human sense, the sense of hearing. In 1990 they laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company when they hired their first employees. To date, the company has grown to more than 1,500 employees around the world.
MED-EL offers the widest range of implantable solutions worldwide to treat various degrees of hearing loss: cochlear and middle ear implant systems, EAS (combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation) systems, and auditory brainstem implants as well as the world´s first active bone conduction implant. People in over 100 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a product from MED-EL www.medel.com