Wally's Story

Hearing loss and other hearing-related problems such as tinnitus, are a common issue reported in serving and ex-serving military personnel. However, most do not seek hearing loss treatment when they first notice a hearing problem. Like the civilian population where hearing loss affects 40% of people over 50*, many typically wait at least seven years before seeking help for hearing loss. Hearing well is important to ensure we stay connected with friends and family, be active in the workplace and do all the things that we enjoy in life, even a slight hearing loss can negatively impact upon our ability to live life to the fullest.

Starkey Hearing Technologies are a global hearing company and a chosen partner of the RAF Benevolent Fund. Through our network of Hearing Professionals we offer current and former members of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and their families and friends an exclusive hearing service.

Wally Banford - RAF Benevolent Fund

Wally Bamford is a former chaplain in the RAF. At 84, Wally leads a remarkably active life but has been struggling with his hearing in some situations. As a result of this new partnership between the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Starkey Hearing Technologies, Wally was chosen to be fitted with 3 Series, a state-of-the- art hearing device.

Starkey Hearing Technologies invited Wally to their headquarters in Stockport to tour the hearing laboratory and be fitted with a Completely-in-the Canal (CIC) hearing aid, a very small discreet hearing device which sits inside the ear canal.

A few weeks later, Helen Whipday, Hearing Professional at Starkey Hearing Technologies, went to Wally’s home to check on his progress and over a cup of coffee Wally tells us why he is a perfect candidate for hearing technology to keep him leading a busy and active lifestyle.

What difference have Starkey hearing aids made to you?
Wally: Before I had my Starkey hearing aids, I had the television volume very loud as it was the only way I could hear what people were saying. With my new hearing aids now I can listen to the television at a much lower volume which is more comfortable for people around me too. I enjoy listening to Radio 4 and also find that I can hear the radio a lot better too! I regularly go to church and I was also finding it difficult to hear what speakers were saying. Now I can hear what they are saying with a lot more clarity.

Were you reluctant to wear hearing aids previously?
Wally: I’ve known people who would get hearing aids and then just leave them in the drawer and not wear them.  I was keen for a remedy so I wanted a hearing device that was discreet and that would be comfortable to wear. These small hearing aids are just what I was looking for.

Wally and Helen - RAF Benevolent Fund 

Has your perception of hearing aids changed now that you’ve been fitted?
Wally: Yes they have. I’ll wait to see if my daughter even notices that I’m wearing them!

Would you recommend hearing aids to others who may be reluctant to wear hearing aids as a result of missing out on conversations and other activities?
Wally: It’s quite common that as people get older they can become stubborn and unwilling to embrace aids like walking sticks and hearing aids because it makes them feel older. But I was willing to accept a solution so that I could hear better and continue to be sociable and stay active so I would encourage other people in my situation to do the same and in any case these devices are almost impossible to see when they’re in my ear.

Helen Whipday, Technical Manager at Starkey Laboratories, adds “Fitting Wally was a joy. He has a wonderful spirit and I am delighted that we can fit him with hearing technology that will enable him to keep doing the things he loves and continue to stay active for years to come”.

Starkey Hearing Technologies is a global leader when it comes to hearing solutions, and are proud to support those who have served our country with the best in hearing innovation. We have already helped millions of patients experience more with ground-breaking hearing aid technologies.

Starkey Hearing Technologies and JustHear warmly invite current and former members of the RAF, as well as the families and friends of current and ex-servicemen to benefit from our exclusive hearing services and hearing aid packages that are not available on the high street. For your free hearing guide, call our free phone telephone number 08000 683 533 or email info@justhear.co.uk.

*Action on Hearing Loss http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/your-hearing/about-deafness-and-hearing-loss/statistics.aspx

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