Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Nothing Less Than Your Elbow …

Hello from the English south coast where it never rains (in the 2 months I’ve been here) yet today, there is a huge thundercloud sitting overhead. How exciting.  It is something to look forward to, when we are cosily at home.

Comfort is what you want with hearing-aids.  Have you seen the ones for £0.99?  The price and how to order are at the top of the webpage to make sure you focus on that.  It’s not about how they will work.  It is a question of how much damage you could do to your ears,whilst fiddling with something not made to suit them.  None of us wants more deafness than we have, thanks.

The frustration of explaining that plastic balls will never help hearing ,to  someone looking for a cheap fix ,is distressing.  Couple that with the fundamental issue of trying to hear and men refuse or kick things.  Women burst into tears or any degree of both.

I met a lovely man, so gentle, a collector of sound wires over 50 years.  I didn’t understand much of what he said, but that was because he was talking about connectors and my hearing’s not brilliant.  It was a missed opportunity to learn more about his specialist subject.  Older people have such a lot to give, but the young aren’t taking advantage of it.

Later I heard that he had pitched into hospital with an unrelated complaint and had thrown his dinner on the floor.  it was so unlike the sort of thing he would do, until I found that he had woken up to find himself on an alien planet, where people’s mouths moved, but he could not hear them and wanted him to do things he didn’t understand.  He didn’t know where he was. They hadn’t even put his hearing-aids in!

When the very kind and caring staff of the residential home found out it could be the hearing-aids she was mortified.  She put the phone down to go and tell the hospital straight away and later rang me to tell me that was the problem.   A perfectly lovely person had been labelled ‘difficult’.   All it needs is a little training for the staff on the ward and at the Home.

Being unable to hear can make you look you crazy as you are still missing half or more of the conversation. Patients and staff alike get fed up and give up.

If the properly fitted and moulded hearing-aid had been gently inserted, he’d have had a better chance of hearing.

A plastic ball gives you none of those and frankly, is dangerous plastic ball.  It could damage you in two ways.

a)       First you’ll jam it into your ear.  That means lots of time in hospital and pain. It’s a waste of £0.99 which doesn’t sound a lot until you realise 50,000 people could respond to the advert;

b)      You’ll jam it so hard into your ear, that you’ll hurt it and have to go the Doctor to get it out.  Any other way, including self-help will damage your ear and your hearing.

Also you really will go crazy with the waste of money,  time and hassle.   Our recommendation is to steer clear.  They are dangerous  to your health.  As Granny said:

“Nothng bigger than your elbow should go in your ear.”

Except a properly fitted hearing-aid fitted by an expert.  Nothing less will do for you.

Have a safe week



Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that Conversation





People Know How To Help Your Hearing

Library book sale 2013

Library book sale 2013 (Photo credit: Christchurch City Libraries)


Yesterday, a friend I hadn’t seen for ages, came over for the day.  We were walking down the street and suddenly she swopped sides so that she was walking on the outside.

“You’ll hear me better if I’m nearest the traffic.”

Such a simple gesture, so profound its impact on me; I was happy all day.  She just thought about my hearing and her natural compassionate instinct told her what to do.

If you’re hard-of-hearing, you know that the result depends on your hearing level that day, where you are and what else is going on around you.  Another person blocks the noise as the sound  has to go round them and you are effectively in their shadow.  For me, it was the thought that meant the most.

So to the husbands out there, never mind the coat over a puddle.  That’s been done, so old hat.   Go on make your loved one’s day.

Have a great week.


Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

Airships to Spaceships - Innovation At Farnborough Airshow (CCL Hearing Wellbeing

Hello everyone

Sorry to have been away a while.  I almost had a job in France but whereas the English will go to desperate lengths to employ someone who has arrived penniless from somewhere else and must be given every consideration, the French prefer to employ their own citizens.  It’s frustrating!

Of course the other, equally likely reason is that I could not understand some of the words the Indian woman said in English.  Her French was much easier to understand; it was a more open accent.

The workplace being near the sea, I told her my hobbies were skiing in winter and shopping in summer.  I meant to say sailing which is ‘voile*’ but my brain got stuck on ‘vent*’ which means ‘wind’ and I stretched it to ‘ ventes*’, which is shopping.

“Oh well,” as one of my children used to say.

Following some fiddling with phone sockets and swopping to a phone with buttons big enough to see from India, (which is why I hadn’t been using it), I waited a whole week for a call.  Then I rang the UK agent.  We set up the response to come in the following morning, in spite of the email promise the Friday before from India, which had been delayed.

I guess they knew about my ears.  I guess they knew about my amplified phone.  What they didn’t know, is that it’s an old one, designed more for people without hearing-aids.  The telecoil is in the base of the handset – uh – a bit far from the ear.  (For the uninitiated, the telecoil communicates with your hearing-aid when you switch it to loop system and makes the sound clearer).

No call all morning.  At 12.15 p.m., I picked up the phone to make a call.  Odd, no dialling tone.  I asked son to scrabble under desk to investigate why and he came out looking rueful.

“You can’t make calls without this plugged in, Mum.”

The phone wire had come out of the wall.  I rang the UK agent as I didn’t think I could possibly explain.  A copout?  Not really.  Their emails were delightful salutations but when they had to say something unscheduled, they came unstuck.  Besides who would believe me?  I have decided it was fate and moved on.

If you want to hear words clearly, you need a phone with amplification and tone.  No tone, no hearing people talking.  If you get one with too much amplification, your ears will hurt and you still won’t hear.   I used to let my customers try them out before buying, so ask your Audiologist before you go.

Best of luck


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that conversation’


The funny reason lip-reading sometimes doesn’t work

English: Easter egg at the Palm Sunday fair in...

English: Easter egg at the Palm Sunday fair in the Village Museum, Bucharest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


On a light-hearted note, some days you can’t win for a funny reason.  You’re lip-reading your best friend, because that’s what you do and suddenly you lose the conversation entirely.  The word ‘sempre’ gave it away.  She’s Spanish, the other girl in the conversation was Spanish and she had slipped into it when I wasn’t looking.

I grinned, couldn’t help it.  There was no way I could have understood.  Yay!  I almost burst out laughing!

Try this on your nearest and dearest.

“Try saying ‘Easter Egg’ in the mirror. Now just mouth it.  Switch your voice off if you can.  That’s really difficult. ;)”

If someone else can lip-read what you’re saying (without you telling them) I’ll eat my hat.  Better make it a chocolate one.

Happy Easter Sunday.

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that chocolate conversation’

The Angel Islington London 2012 Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Switch Off The Fridge. It’s Too Noisy!

I love language,  writing it and hearing it.  Often people are surprised.  Why?  Does a sight issue rule their lives?  You could say it depends on how much you can see or hear.

In hearing, you lose a tiny bit in the high notes and suddenly the edges of words do not sound as sharp.  If you have just been diagnosed with a hearing issue and someone has arranged for hearing-aids, it is the start of an adventure.  You will hear things you have not heard in years, like birdsong.  🙂

When you clap your hands over your ears and ask your family to please switch off the fridge, be ready for argument!  It’s hard but try and relax.  Stay away from the fridge as much as possible for a few days.  (I can see this would be impossible for teenagers.)  You will learn to tune it out.  People with ordinary hearing do that automatically.  Be prepared for them to be disappointed.  They think your fantastic digital hearing-aids mean you are a superbeing, so when you complain about noises their reactions are the following:

a)       The hearing-aid is not working;

b)      It did not fix the hearing issue;

c)       They have failed you in some way.

Reassure them as well as yourself.  It takes a month at least to get used to them.  A colleague was on the point of taking his back after two months and then it was suggested he try the ones he had before.

“I had no idea.” He said. The aids were in and out of his ears in two minutes, back forever in the box.

“Can I have that in writing?”

We never did get his comment in writing but he did see the point.  You don’t realise what you have until you don’t have it any more.  He persevered with the hearing-aids and even took his life into his hands.  He went into the bank.  He went through the rigamarole of having the loop system switched on and went to the loop setting.  He said it was so peaceful without the background noise.  He was so pleased that people in the office, who have ordinary hearing, are envious.  An advantage.  Yippee!

Have a great week!


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



Type too much, your fingers fall off … concentrate on hearing so much, do ears drop off?


The quick answer is yes.  If you have to concentrate very hard on hearing, your body will put its energy into that.  If the body gets no help, it will start to wear out.    Your ears won’t drop off physically but the level you can hear today will not be as good in 2/5/10 years’ time.  It varies.

The main side effect is exhaustion.  Besides, to the ladies, wrinkles anyone?  We have all seen people who screw up their faces in concentration.  It’s because they cannot see or cannot hear.  Look at actors.  They must forever be concentrating on Directors standing at least 10 metres away, too far to lip-read.

If that’s not an advert for hearing aids, I don’t know what is.  Life is hard enough without putting added pressure on yourself.  When you have them, the relief is enormous.  And for guys, worried about hearing-aids being seen, ninety-nine percent of people speak to your face.  There is no way that you can help the other one percent.

Have a great week.


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



‘Vibrating’ Translates to ‘Leap’

It seemed like a good idea to let the phone wake me up.  Loud ring and vibrate; nothing could go wrong, could it?

When it vibrated, it leapt off a table into that tiny space between bedframe and table, the one you can reach if you lie on the floor and reach for it.  Then it reverberated.  I thought, that sounds loud.  It probably woke everyone up.  Smile sheepishly and apologise but at 3.00 am, is anyone listening?  I was getting up for a teleseminar, but as it happened, I was an hour adrift, so no-one was best pleased.  I couldn’t switch the ring off.  In the end I stuck it under a cushion and switched it off.  Peace.

The SB alarm clock works.  At 110 dB it’s for profoundly deaf people on its maximum setting, but it’s adjustable.   A client recently reported that her dog tried to dig it out.   Hilarious apparently!  She has adjusted it to her hearing level and she’s waking up, relaxed.

If not waking up in time bothers you, try the shaker option.  It’s less prone to jumping off tables!  Tomorrow is a 3.00 am start. I’ll try the SB clock.  Let’s hope everyone else stays asleep this time!


Have a great week

Debbie Jeffrey



Your Dogs And Pets Can Hear Again With A Hearing-Aid

Illustration of internal parts of a cochlear i...

Illustration of internal parts of a cochlear implant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, ...

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, “His Master’s Voice”, The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising (Photo credit: Beverly & Pack)


I read a while ago about a Doctor who had tried out a hearing-aid on his dog.  It worked brilliantly and his dog started responding to him again.  It also made the dog happier in his twilight years.

It occurs to me that hearing could be advanced by looking at animals’ ears and seeing what could be done to correct their hearing loss.  Hearing-aids are one route.  Cochlear implants and BAHA (bone-anchored hearing-aid) may be more practical.  Unfortunately they are very expensive in humans – £40,000 each, but that is because of the expertise needed to help the person receiving it to learn to talk again.  In humans, cochlear implant gives you five notes on a range and your voice sounds slightly electronic.  If you have never had hearing or lost it, being able to hear your own voice is such a great event!  How much would it be for a dog or other animal?  Presumably the more intelligent the animal, the more benefit it will be.

It’s just another way of taking hearing experience forward. Vets could liaise with Doctors and they could both learn.  The animal and the human end user would benefit.  Besides there must be a lot of pets out there who would be happier if they could hear again.

What do you think?

If you’re interested, on Ebay

SR West Country No 34027 Taw Valley disguised ...

SR West Country No 34027 Taw Valley disguised as 34045 (Photo credit: Peter Broster)

Fishing boats at Lyme Regis, West Country, UK

Fishing boats at Lyme Regis, West Country, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


We rarely talk about marketing yet we’re selling a small stock of hearing-assisted items on Ebay.  Our callsign, or name is deafhearingwellbeing.

All products are guaranteed.  Try them out.  You will know within a couple of hours  and definitely within a few days whether or not the equipment suits you.  Try it in all the scenarios you want.  Someone bought a Conversor Pro hearing loop over Christmas and he tried it out with the TV, meetings he attends regularly and even used the microphone attachment to talk comfortably with his wife.   He bought it.  After the guarantee end date, please feel free to come back to us.  Equipment for better hearing has to be right first time, as being hearing-assisted is enough bother.

Some people think ease with hearing equipment is about  age but I used to have a colleague who is 84* and hates old people!  It’s about flexibility of the mind and attitude matters.   Hey, we have plenty of that!

We’ve given advice and information for six years but are struggling with making a living in the niche.  If I can get the dratted ebook out, I will.  Negative feedback stopped us but hey, there are positive people.  A Social Worker in UK National Health Services said

“You tell it like it is.”

It’s the greatest compliment we have ever had.  Thank you, Anna in the West Country and thanks to Hannah as well from Southampton  and all of the Social Workers in Hampshire and Surrey whom we knew during work at deafPLUS.  You’re all heroes.

We’ll keep blogging, mostly because there are so many things happening in deafness and hearing and  we have incurable curiosity.

Best wishes to you for 2013,

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’

Hearing Wellbeing


Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Can’t Hear? You Are A Leader

Bassenthwaite and Scotland from the top of Dodd

Bassenthwaite and Scotland from the top of Dodd (Photo credit: Ed.ward)


The Citizens Advice Bureau Logo.

The Citizens Advice Bureau Logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




We make our own happiness.  No-one knows how we feel, except other people with a hearing issue – that’s 8 million people in the UK!  You’re bound to meet someone who understands and this works every time:

“Hey, just look at me when you speak.”


“I’ve got hearing-aids like you’ve got glasses.  It means I’ve got most of my hearing.”

Instant explanation works.  Every time you do that you are leading.  If talking is a function of the body then it has to be developed.  You are a leader in the hearing field.  Take it and fly!

We know what it is like.  If you are newly-diagnosed, you don’t know and that’s why we have to talk about it.


Everything that you say about hearing teaches someone else.  It is really about commonsense and good manners with a sprinkling of kindness.  Most people are kind.  If they’re not, they are having a bad day. Every time you are helping that person to communicate and not the other way around.  You’re a leader.   The world of ordinary hearing needs you to communicate.  Does it make us succinct?  Absolutely not 😉  One of the classic ways of diagnosing a hearing issue is that people talk too much … enough said 😉


Strangers with ordinary hearing understand.  They have no concept of you as a person and so they are just reacting to what you say, I suppose and reading body language.  Are you threatening?  As if!  But that depends.  We won’t let anyone take advantage of a hearing, yucky word alert ‘loss’.  I avoid that phrase as I was lucky enough to meet an American from a hearing-aid manufacturer, who has spent 30 years in hearing-aids.  It brings tears to my eyes that anyone should care that much to spend a lifetime making hearing better for people.   He used phrases like ‘hearing-assisted’ with a ‘hearing device’ as hearing-aid is so dull.  We want a great life and hearing is only one way to facilitate it.


A former colleague is 84 and hates old people.  He works three days a week at deafPLUS, a hearing/deaf charity to make life easier.  He’s an unsung hero, one of the millions who helps with hearing and will be furious with me for naming him, but John, John Rendle, you deserve a medal.  He’s also a Hearing Counsellor with Citizens Advice Bureau.  We need his experience, his thoughts and most of all his understanding to pass all that information on.  Actually he won’t see this so just you and I know.


These people are my heroes of 2012.  You have met your own.  Hear their experience, live it for yourself and teach eveyone else.

Let’s make 2013 a great, happy hearing year.


All the best




Debbie Jeffrey


‘Join That Conversation * – you know, the one where you stand on the fringes.  Love life!

PS The Conversation is a blog from the University of Melbourne, Australia, the Internet is great for reading isn’t it?


Hearing Wellbeing