With over half of over 75-year olds experiencing hearing difficulties, Abbotswood Court luxury care home and retirement development in Romsey has formed a new partnership with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Aiming to raise awareness for the charity in the community, Abbotswood Court welcomed a volunteer dog trainer Malcolm Board and 19-month old pup in training Britney to a special information event.
An experienced speaker, Malcolm Board introduced Abbotswood staff and residents to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Aiding people across the country, the charity trains dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they would otherwise miss. This includes simple sounds that many people take for granted like doorbells, alarm clocks or even danger signals like fire alarms. This can save lives, including the lives of elderly people who may be living in isolation.
Accompanying Malcolm and his Cockapoo puppy Britney, Nicholas Orpin, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People Community Regional Fundraiser was also in attendance. Nicholas Orpin said:
“We are delighted to have formed a new partnership with Abbotswood Court. They will be helping us to increase awareness for our charity and the importance of our work. The cost to train and support each hearing dog throughout their lifetime is £40,000 – so we rely heavily on our amazing supporters such us Abbotswood to help us change lives.’’
Gemma Ridout Bowden, General Manager of Abbotswood Court said:
“We were pleased to support the charity and welcome Hearing Dog for Deaf People into our care home. We know that hearing dogs can help deaf people and especially the elderly to reconnect with life. This is one of the main reasons why we decided to engage with the charity as for those experiencing deafness and living alone, a hearing dog can provide a newfound sense of independence and confidence.’’
Further to their work with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, several staff members at Abbotswood Court are currently undertaking Makaton training. Makaton is a language programme, which uses signs and symbols to help people to communicate. Aiding residents with hearing difficulties, Makaton is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.