Memory of Alison

May 5th, 2015

228540_1036204789521_7883_nI came to work for Unitron back in 2008.  Alison had the whole state of Texas at the time and when I came on board with Unitron, we split the state in half.  I had the upper half and Ali had the lower half.  We called ourselves the A team ;) .

 

From the moment I met Alison we were fast friends.   The first day she came to work with me in Dallas I went to pick her up at the airport and we were wearing the same outfit in different colors.  I told her that I had her necklace at home and she said the same about mine.  We were the same age, same size, same height, and true sisters.

 

After spending the day with one another we were finishing each other’s sentences.  I brought Ali to my apartment so we could talk, hang out, and drink some wine.  She saw my diploma on the wall and noticed that we even had the same middle name!  She said, “I can’t believe we have the same first initial, same middle name….this is creepy.  So Ang, What is your favorite color?”  I said, “Blue.”  Ali Said, “Me too!”  She went through several questions and she kept saying, “Me too.”  Finally she says, “HA,” then squinted her eyes, “Democrat or Republican!!?”  Yup that’s the one thing we had a big difference on but we never talked about politics with one another anyways.  Alison was my very best friend and we talked at least 10 times a day.

 

Alison was a huge contributor to my success in the hearing aid industry.  She never doubted that I could learn the material or understand Audiology in depth.  Even though I was not an audiologist, just because I wanted to learn, she would spend countless of days and hours teaching me.  This is how Ali was, patient, sweet, and good to the core.  She was the main reason why I loved my job and I loved what I did.  Ali had true passion for Audiology, Pediatric Audiology, and it spilled over to me.  She even taught me to curse in sign language ;) .

 

I don’t know how this got started, but when she would answer the phone she would sing, “Hello…What are you doing.”  I would answer back singing and we would have a whole conversation like this and then start laughing.  We would often times intentionally call each other when we knew the other would not answer and then sing to each other on our voice mails.  I remember playing many back again and again just laughing hysterically.

 

The day Alison died, I had not heard from her all day; which was very strange.  I had an incident on the plane that I was waiting to tell her about and had left her several messages.  I figured she was just traveling and would call me later.  The CEO of Unitron, Cam, called me when my plane landed and told me the news.  I was standing at the luggage carrousel in shock grabbing my chest.  No!  Tears started to flow; I started to sob, grabbed my bag, and walked outside.  I could not breath and thought I was going to pass out.  I actually had to get on the bus to take me to my car and I didn’t even know how I was going to drive myself home.  People asked me if I was ok and I just sobbed, “NO, IM NOT OK.”  I had a guy on the bus just come and sit by me and he put his arms around me and just held me.  I never even got his name.

 

By the time I got home, I had realized that because my voicemail was full, I had deleted Ali’s past messages.  My heart dropped because I wanted to hear her voice again.  I called her phone to listen to her voice mail and Unitron had forwarded her phone calls!  That was the saddest moment of my life.  I fell to the floor and cried myself to sleep.  I could not stop crying for over 90 days, and after those 90 days, I cried at least once, every day for over a year and a half.  Isn’t that crazy?!  I have never had a death affect me like loosing Ali.  I thought my joy was gone and I would never find anything to replace her friendship or the way she brought happiness into my life.

 

One month after Ali died, I decided to move to Canada to work in the industry up there.  I could not even walk into an apt in TX where people didn’t know what had happened.  I couldn’t hold it together and I really used moving to Canada as an excuse to run away and heal.  I couldn’t function because everyone I saw and everything I did, reminded me of her.  When I heard about the Foundation starting, I couldn’t even be a part of it, because anything to do with Ali, just hurt.  I needed time to heal and try to get through my days.  The first two years were so hard and if it hadn’t have been for my husband, I don’t think I would have made it through that period of my life.  This is just my story, which seems selfish, but I think of all of the other people she touched just the same that might be going through the same thing.  It was such a change and turning period in my life.

 

As the years have gone by, her memory didn’t hurt as much.  I started to take more pictures down of her that were hung all over my house.  I needed to always see her.  Now, I keep three up, which is probably healthier.  I will forever keep her in my heart.  Because of her, I live each day to the fullest, I think about life differently, and have made different decisions.  I lived in Canada for 4 years, married the love of my life, we moved to San Francisco and lived there two years, and now I am back home in Texas.  When I moved back to Dallas in October of 2014, I reached out to Alison’s Hope for Hearing because I was ready to be involved.  I am the secretary and have really enjoyed talking about Alison as well as carrying on her legacy helping others in need.  She would have really loved the foundation and it makes me feel at peace knowing she’s smiling down on us from heaven.

 

It’s been a long journey since I lost my best friend and there have been thousands of days I wished it had of been me instead.  One of the hardest parts of not having Ali in my life is missing out on telling her about my day, sharing my experiences, and letting her calm me down when I am upset.  Doing this all on my own just plain sucks!  This put my life in perspective and I have proven to myself that people can get through a terrible time….we can breath in and out and heal bit by bit.  The important part is that we continue to help those around us and love each other today….don’t wait until tomorrow, and work hard to be a better person.

 

Every night before I go to sleep I pray to God that he let me see her.  Sometimes I do dream of her and I get a short glimpse, but perhaps I am just going to have to wait.  My heart hurts for her loss, but oh goodness how she filled my life and I wouldn’t take a second back that we spent together.  I will never forget her and her memory constantly reminds me to make my life count, to not be mediocre, and to be happy.  I am honored to carry on and help give back the gift of hearing with Alison’s Hope for Hearing.  More stories to come….

 

Love, Angela Lightfoot-Pumford

January 2015 Newsletter

January 24th, 2015

 

In This Issue
Provider Update
Special Thanks
Making a Difference
Our Fundraisers
Join Our ListJoin Our Mailing List

Visit our website to make a difference in the life of someone with hearing loss. Your donation will go a long way in helping us provide hearing aids to under-served patients in your community and around the world!

Provider Update

AHH is proud to announce that we have grown! We now have providers in 23 different states, meaning we are helping all over the country.Thank you to all of our volunteer providers that assist AHH in providing care to our patients. If you or someone you know is interested in how to become an AHH provider, please visit our website at

alisonshopeforhearing.org for more information.


Alison’s Hope for Hearing would like to give a special thank you to our corporate sponsors:
Unitron
Phonak
ReSound
Oticon
Texas Special Instruments
Our Fundraisers
Welzoo

Every day you use the internet, Welzoo will donate money to us. It’s simple,click here and follow a few easy steps to raise money at no cost to you!

 

Amazon Smile 

 Click here to sign up for Amazon Smile. It’s simple,  login and type “Alison’s Hope for Hearing” in the search box. Every time you login to Amazon after this, part of your purchases will automatically go to Alison’s Hope for Hearing. Happy shopping!

Zazzle
We are excited to show you our new Alison’s Hope for Hearing products on Zazzle.com. We have everything from iPhone cases to dog sweaters. Any purchases you make will support our cause and sport our logo wherever you go.  Click here to take a look.

 

 Issue: #014
January, 2015
By age 65, 1 in 3 people will experience hearing loss. These people are our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Too many with hearing loss are unable to attain needed hearing aids and audiology services because of the cost.
With your continued support we have been able to fit over 90 people with hearing aids. Help us prevent hearing loss and supply hearing aids to those in desperate need. There are lots of ways to help! You can help sponsor one person by becoming a sustaining donor, raise funds for us by shopping through Amazon Smile or simply by surfing the web through Welzoo. We could not do this without you and your support. Thank you so much!
Sincerely,
Joni Friedrich
Director-at-Large
Hearing Tip of the Month

The facts about Q-tips

 

Did you know that using Q-tips could be harmful? Q-tips wipe away cerumen (ear wax), which is our ears natural way of cleaning themselves. Cerumen also has some antibacterial and lubrication functions as well. Typically the normal motion of our jaws works the cerumen out. When we use Q-tips it pushes the cerumen back in often getting it stuck. The trapped cerumen can bring bacteria, fungus and viruses that can lead to pain and infection.  Pushing the cerumen in can also block the ear drum and if pushed too far, can rupture the ear drum.  Click here for more information.

 

 

Making a Difference
Donated Hearing Aids to Children in Haiti
Alison’s Hope for Hearing was excited to have the opportunity to donate hearing aids to children in Haiti. Stay tuned for more developments.
Amplification Assistance Program
As always, we are busy approving applicants for hearing aids, providing needed hearing devices, and connecting patients with our outstanding audiology providers.
AHH on Linkedin, Facebook &Twitter
Be sure to find us on your favorite social network site!

Events & News
Become a Sustaining Donor 
Help provide hearing aids to people in need by becoming a sustaining donor.  For just $1 a day you can sponsor a patient to receive hearing assistance and can score some Alison’s Hope for Hearing gifts in the process. Click here to become a sustaining donor and help someone with hearing loss.
Tee Up Fore Hearing
We are gearing up for our second annual Tee Up Fore Hearing! Last year we had a great time at the Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock, Texas. It was a beautiful day of golfing with 30 golfers. Get ready for another great year and stay tuned for more details! All proceeds will go directly to our hearing aid program.
Casino Day 
Join us at our casino day at Claddagh Maple Grove in Minneapolis, MN to benefit Alison’s Hope for Hearing. Save the date of Saturday, May 16th from 1-4 pm for food, fun, festivities and fantastic prizes! For more details, check out our Facebook page.
Wine and Canvas
We had a wonderful time at our first Wine and Canvas fundraiser. Thank you to everybody who came out!
Alison’s Hope for Hearing is an organization dedicated to creating and supporting programs serving the deaf and hard of hearing.

What’s in that box?

January 4th, 2015

You all have a box or a drawer somewhere in your office where you collect old hearing aids. At one time you thought, “I can use these for loaners” or maybe, “I can keep these old customs for parts” and what do you do? Sell a new unit, send a repair to the lab. And the box just gets fuller and fuller over time.  Then what…?

All those old unused hearing aids can be worth money for Alison’s Hope for Hearing. A few of us have been collecting salvage in which I in turn, work with a Minnesota salvage company.  They evaluate the parts and all proceeds go to Alison’s Hope. So, the next time you go to throw something in that box, take a minute and send the box to one of our members.The funds will go towards the gift of hearing.

Tax donation receipts can be provided as needed for patients who participate. Please include the name and address of the donor, the type of aid donated (manufacturer and style if possible), as well as the value at the time of purchase.  Donations can be sent to:

Alison’s Hope for Hearing

14755 27th Ave. N

Plymouth, MN 55447

Thank you for your support!

-Paul G.

The truth about Q-tips

August 16th, 2014

We liked this article so much that we had to post it to our blog.

 

The question: Is it true that I shouldn’t use cotton swabs to clean my ears?

The answer: Whether it was mom or grandma who said it first, she was definitely right: You probably shouldn’t put anything in your ear that’s smaller than your elbow.

But in order to understand why you don’t need to swab out the ol’ ears, we first need to understand why we have earwax to begin with. That gross gunk, known medically as cerumen, is actually there for protection. “The purpose of earwax really is to keep your ear canal clean,” says Douglas Backous, M.D., chair of the hearing committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF) and director of hearing and skull base surgery at Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle.

Not only does earwax help to keep dust and dirt away from the eardrum, it also provides some antibacterial and lubricating perks. And — one of the body’s many wonders! — your ears basically clean themselves. Once earwax dries, every motion of your jaw, whether that’s chowing down on lunch or gabbing away with friends, helps move the old earwax out of the opening of your ear (much like as if it were riding an escalator, says Backous).

The problem, then, is when we think we’re smarter than the systems our bodies have had in place since the beginning of time, and go poking around in those cerumen-laden ears of ours. Sure, that cotton swab looks tiny enough, but it’s actually pushing earwax deeper into the ear (after shoving it off of that escalator), where it gets stuck in the parts that don’t clean themselves, he says.

Earwax trapped there also brings with it fungus, bacteria and viruses accumulated in the outer ear, potentially leading to pain and infection, says Backous.

Pushing earwax deeper inside can also block the ear canal, leading to hearing loss, or, if you push it even farther, a ruptured ear drum — which, if that episode of “Girls” is to be believed, seems more than a little bit painful.

Every year, about 12 million Americans head to their doctors with “impacted or excessive cerumen,” a really gross-sounding way to say they’ve got serious earwax problems. All those checkups lead to about 8 million yearly earwax removal procedures performed by medical professionals (a.k.a. not the ear candle specialist at the salon on the corner), according to the AAO-HNSF.

Ears really only need to be cleaned — even by a medical professional — if they feel full or you notice changes to your hearing that could be related to waxy buildup. The AAO-HNSF feels so strongly about not sticking cotton swabs in your ears that it released an official position statement about earwax removal, for both physicians and patients. And even the website for Q-Tips, arguably the  most popular brand of cotton swabs, advises to use the product “around the outer ear, without entering the ear canal.”

Yes, we know what you’re thinking, with that grossed-out look on your face: You can’t just stop cleaning your ears. Well, that’s only because you’ve created a vicious “itch and scratch cycle” for yourself, says Backous. The more you rub the skin of your ears, the more histamine you release, which in turn makes the skin irritated and inflamed — just like how that mosquito bite gets itchier the more you scratch it. Plus, because of the lubricating nature of earwax, removing it can simply make your ears drier, motivating you to keep sticking swabs in there in a mistaken attempt at relief.

For those of you who just can’t leave your ears alone, Backous recommends a little at-home irrigation. A few drops in each ear of a mixture of one part white vinegar, one part rubbing alcohol and one part tap water at body temperature should do the trick. (Too cold or too hot and you might feel dizzy, he warns.) But the bottom line? “I can tell you,” says Backous, “there is nothing good about putting anything in your ear.”

From The Huffington Post, July 21, 2014

 

March 2014 Newsletter

March 24th, 2014
In This Issue
Provider Update
Special Thanks
Making a Difference
Our Fundraisers
Join Our ListJoin Our Mailing List

Visit www.alisonshopeforhearing.org to make a difference in the life of someone with hearing loss. Your donation will go a long way in helping us provide hearing aids to under-served patients in your community and around the world!

Provider Update

AHH is proud to announce that we have grown! We now have providers in 21 different states, meaning we are helping all over the country.Thank you to all of our volunteer providers that assist AHH in providing care to our patients. If you or someone you know is interested in how to become an AHH provider, please visit our website at alisonshopeforhearing.org for more information.


Alison’s Hope for Hearing would like to give a special thank you to our corporate sponsors:
Unitron
Phonak
ReSound
Oticon
Texas Special Instruments
 Issue: #013
February, 2014
Greetings!
We have a lot going on this month. We have found new ways to reach other non-profits who help those with hearing loss and are actively providing hearing aids and audiology services to under-served people with hearing loss.
We are also excited for the new fundraising opportunities we began this month. We are gearing up for our first annual golf event, the Tee Up Fore Hearing on May 17th. It will be a fun filled day of golfing at Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock, Texas.  
We also began spreading the word about using Welzoo to our friends and supportors. By simply making Welzoo as your homepage, Welzoo will donate money to AHH every day you open up your web browser. So simple, but very helpful! Read below for more details on how you can get involved, and thank you for your continued support.
Sincerely,
Joni Friedrich
Member-at-Large
Hearing Tip of the Month

Did you know there is a link between hearing loss and cardiovascular health?

 

There is a growing body of evidence showing a link between cardiovascular health and hearing loss. This link is not completely understood, but some researchers postulate that decreased circulation negatively affect hearing abilities. This link is so prevalent that many medical professionals are recommending hearing test as a part of  routine medical care after age 40. These tests can help identify any hearing loss and can help screen for cardiovascular challenges.

Making a Difference
Donation to the Minnesota Academy of Audiology
Alison’s Hope for Hearing felt lucky to contribute gift baskets to the Minnesota Academy of Audiology. Our contribution  helped to raise funds for another outstanding non-profit which advances high standards in audiology practice.
Amplification Assistance Program
As always, we are busy approving applicants for hearing aids, providing needed hearing devices, and connecting patients with our outstanding audiology providers.
Alison’s Hope for Hearing Helps those in Hospice Care
Alison’s Hope for Hearing is excited to help those in hospice care by donating hearing aids to two dedicated audiologist, Jimmy Stewart and Michael McCombs. These audiologists help those in the last stages of life regain hearing abilities and communicate with loved ones by fitting hospice patients with donated hearing aids. AHH feels lucky to be a part of such significant moments in these people’s lives.
AHH on Linkedin, Facebook &Twitter!
Be sure to find us on your favorite social network site!

Our Fundraisers
Tee Up Fore Hearing

AHH is excited to host our first annual Tee Up Fore Hearing! Look forward to a fun  golf scramble at the beautiful Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock, Texas. We are looking for golfers and sponsors, please forward this  to anyone you know who may be interested. Go to https://alisonshopeforhearing.wufoo.com/forms/tee-up-fore-alisons-hope-for-hearing/ for more details.
Please support us by surfing the internet 

Go to www.welzoo.com to set Welzoo as your homepage. Every day you use the internet, Welzoo will donate money to us. It’s simple, hit the link and follow a few easy steps to raise money at no cost to you!

Shopping on Amazon 

Do your shopping on Amazon and part of every purchase you make will be donated to AHH at no cost to you. It is simple and easy- just check out our site alisonshopeforhearing.org and then use the “Keyword” box to search for your item and then click “GO”. Happy shopping!

Check out our new products on Zazzle
We are excited to show you our new Alison’s Hope for Hearing products on Zazzle.com. We have everything from iPhone cases, to coffee mugs and dog sweaters. Any purchases you make will support our cause and sport our logo wherever you go.  Go to http://www.zazzle.com/ahh2012/gifts to take a look.
Alison’s Hope for Hearing is an organization dedicated to creating and supporting programs serving the deaf and hard of hearing.

Valentine’s Day Strategies

February 17th, 2014

As much as I think Valentine’s Day is a ridiculous holiday commercialized to benefit candy, card, and flower companies, I also think the idea of spending one special day a year showering your beloved with affection is nice.  That said, I also think it is important to continuously give your loved one love, kindness, and in the case of hearing loss patience.  My fiancé has had a fairly significant hearing loss in one ear since childhood, and recently lost hearing in his better ear due to noise exposure.  Despite the fact that I am an audiologist, I still need a reminder every now and then on how to communicate with someone with hearing loss.  Did I seat myself on his good ear side is this noisy restaurant?  Am I whispering sweet nothings in his bad ear again? Am I having a conversation with the car window instead of facing myself towards him?  I love him so much I don’t want him to miss a word I’m saying (even though he probably wouldn’t mind missing a few of them as I talk a LOT!) I’ve put together a list of 5 communication strategies for communicating with a hearing impaired individuals, so that they can continue to hear how much you love and adore them, avoiding frustration and unnecessary fights.

 

  1. 1.    Face the hearing impaired person directly-  Conversations while at the sink doing dishes or talking towards the passenger side window in the car are not good communication strategies.  Make sure they can see your mouth while you speak as this will help them pick up on visual cues for those tricky sounds like b vs p.
  2. 2.    Get their attention before you speak-  Don’t just start talking.  Say their name and make sure you have their attention before you start telling them how much you love and adore them.
  3. 3.    Repeat what they didn’t understand in a different way-  If they keep saying “what?”  try to find a different way to get your point across. Change it up if possible and use different words they might have an easier time hearing.  Better yet have them repeat what they heard so that you only need to correct the words they aren’t hearing correctly.
  4. 4.    Have the hearing impaired person repeat specifics when giving important directions.  For instance if you are splitting up at the mall, make sure they are able to repeat the time and location to meet before you all go on your merry way.  A lot of numbers and words sound very similar, so this is extremely important.
  5. 5.    Know where to go and where to avoid-  If you’re going to have a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner don’t pick the restaurant with hard surfaces, loud music, and poor lighting.  Pick a well lit, quiet and cozy restaurant for an enjoyable evening filled with love and laughter.

February Newsletter

February 17th, 2014
In This Issue
Provider Update
Special Thanks
Making a Difference
Our Fundraisers
Join Our List

Join Our Mailing List

Visit our website to make a difference in the life of someone with hearing loss. Your donation will go a long way in helping us provide hearing aids to under-served patients in your community and around the world!

Provider Update

Thank you to all of our volunteer providers that assist AHH in providing care to our patients. If you or someone you know is interested in how to become an AHH provider, please visit our website at

alisonshopeforhearing.org for more information.


Alison’s Hope for Hearing would like to give a special thank you to our corporate sponsors:
Unitron
Phonak
ReSound
Oticon
Texas Special Instruments
 Issue: #013
February, 2014
Greetings,

Alison’s Hope for Hearing is excited about the opportunities 2014 will bring. We are starting this year with a clean slate; every approved 2013 applicant has a new set of hearing aids or is in the final stages of getting them!
This year we are making changes to our Amplification Assistance program. We are now providing a larger range of new hearing aids for our audiologist to chose from to provide more flexibility and make fittings easier.
We would not be able to help without your continued support. Thank you for all that you do. Read on to learn more about what we have been up to.
Sincerely,
Joni Friedrich
Director-at-Large
Hearing Tip of the Month
For a person with hearing loss, keeping up with a conversation can be exhausting. Here are a few ways you can help make conversations easier.
  • Stand 3 to 6 feet from the listener. It’s the best place  for hearing aids to pick up sound.
  • Be aware that the listener may tilt or turn their head when you are speaking. Hearing aids get the best sound from the front so the persona may adjust accordingly.
  • Have the listener choose where to have the conversation and ask which side to of them to sit on.
  • Give the listener context for what you are talking about by telling them what you want to discuss.
  • Try to face light instead of having light behind you.  If the light is shining on the back of your head, your face may be backlit and shadowed making it harder for the listener  to read lips, see facial expressions and follow gestures.
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth and avoid having things in your mouth like gum.
  • Stay in one place while you are talking. It will be difficult to understand you if you are moving around.
  • Limit background noise
For more information and hearing loss tips go to http://www.hearinglikeme.com/ to see the full article from Hearing Like ME

Making a Difference
2013 Was a Success!
Alison’s Hope for Hearing was on a roll in 2013.
  • In 2013, we approved 53 people for hearing aids! The last 4 applicants are in the final stages of receiving their hearing aids. This means we have fit a total of 126 people with hearing aids so far!
  • In 2013, we gained 29 new providers for a total of 85 in 21 different states. We are growing!
  • In 2013, we sent two audiology students to the Scott Haug conference to further their educational goals.
  • In 2013, we donated used hearing aids to a hospice program to help those in the final stages of life communicate with their loved ones.
  • In 2013, we participated in a variety of campaigns, outreach efforts and educational opportunities including:
    • Scott Haug Conference 2013
    • Minnesota Audiology Conference
    • American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Conference
    • The Hearing Loss Association of America’s Walk for Hearing
    • Crowdtilt Campaigns to raise funds
    • Participated in local fundraisers such as The Austin Indie Aliance  benefit show and the The Mellow Mushroom fundraising night
    • Provided hearing loss prevention information with earplugs to musicians at the South by Southwest music festival

 

Alison’s Hope for Hearing Helps those in Hospice Care
Alison’s Hope for Hearing is excited to help those in hospice care by donating hearing aids to two dedicated audiologist, Jimmy Stewart and Michael McCombs. These audiologist help those in the last stages of life regain hearing abilities and communicate with loved ones by fitting hospice patients with donated hearing aids. AHH feels lucky to be a part of such significant moments in these people’s lives.
AHH on Linkedin, Facebook &Twitter!
Be sure to find us on your favorite social network sight!

Our Fundraisers

Golf Scramble

We are hosting our first golf scramble in Austin, Texas this spring. Stay tuned for more details!
 

 Shopping on Amazon 

Do your shopping on Amazon and part of every purchase you make will be donated to AHH at no cost to you. It is simple and easy- just check out our site alisonshopeforhearing.org and then use the “Keyword” box to search for your item and then click “GO”. Happy shopping!

Check out our new products on Zazzle
We are excited to show you our new Alison’s Hope for Hearing products on Zazzle.com. We have everything from iPhone cases, to coffee mugs and dog sweaters. Any purchases you make will support our cause and sport our logo wherever you go.
Alison’s Hope for Hearing is an organization dedicated to creating and supporting programs serving the deaf and hard of hearing.

 

Listen to the 1 Resolution That Will Change Your Life

January 13th, 2014

It’s that time of the year:  the fresh starting line of January where we promise to spend the year being better, healthier versions of our 2013 selves.  Ali often did self-reflecting throughout the year, making small changes like taking yoga or big changes like being vegan.

As an audiologist that loved music, I think Ali would embrace 2014 with a cheeky resolution.  Something like, “listen to more music, but at a safe level to preserve hearing.”

She may encourage we check out the newest bands and download more music to your iPhone, but to be careful when listening through your earbuds.

Did you know that the sound generated from a personal music system (i.e. iPhone, etc.) with earphones that it can reach a level of over 100 dBA?  That’s loud enough to begin causing permanent damage after just 15 minutes per day!

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can be caused by a one-time exposure to a loud sound as well as repeated exposure to sounds at various loudness levels over an extended period of time.

When listening to music through headphones, some hearing experts suggest that we set the volume while in a quiet environment and to resist “turning it up” to block out noisy surroundings.  Limit the amount of time that you use earbuds or headphones at a high volume.

So this year, resolve to preserve your hearing – but don’t let that keep you from listening to some favorite jams!

December Newsletter

January 13th, 2014
In This Issue
Provider Update
Special Thanks
Making a Difference
Our Fundraisers
Join Our List

Join Our Mailing List

Visit our website to make a difference in the life of someone with hearing loss. Your donation will go a long way in helping us provide hearing aids to under-served patients in your community and around the world!

Provider Update

Thank you to all of our volunteer providers that assist AHH in providing care to our patients. If you or someone you know is interested in how to become an AHH provider, please visit our website at

alisonshopeforhearing.org for more information.


Alison’s Hope for Hearing would like to give a special thank you to our corporate sponsors:
Unitron
Phonak
ReSound
Oticon
Texas Special Instruments
 Issue: #012
December, 2013
Alison’s Hope for Hearing is so thankful for your continued support! We have had a successful very year. Every approved applicant has a new set of hearing aids or is in the final stages of getting them!
We have many opportunities coming up this year including changes in our amplification assistance program that will provide more flexibility and choice of hearing aids to our hearing aid providers. We our excited about what 2014 will bring and for the opportunities to help those with hearing loss. Read on for our end of year summary and to learn more about what we have been up to.
Sincerely,
Joni Friedrich
Director-at-Large
Hearing Tip of the Month: Holiday Parties
The holidays are a special time to connect with loved ones, but for many with hearing loss these gatherings can be challenging. With large groups having multiple conversations, laughter and background noise, a person with hearing loss can get lost in the conversation and feel left out, isolated and sad. Follow these  these tips to make the most of these gatherings.

It is easier to talk with less back ground noise.  Find someone you want to catch up with move the conversation to a less crowded area. You can also help in the kitchen where there tend to be less people. Avoid doing dishes as this causes you to turn your back to the conversation and involves lots of background noise.

Dinner strategy: This is likely to be challenging when a large group is sitting down and having different conversations. Try just talking to the people to the left or right of you.  Also, if you start the conversation about a topic, it will be easier to follow.  Sometimes you may miss key points in conversations or jokes, don’t feel bad about asking the person next to you to fill you in on what you missed. It is often helpful to say specifically what you missed instead of asking “what” so the whole conversation does not get repeated.

Making a Difference
2013 Was a Success!
Alison’s Hope for Hearing was on a roll this year.
  • This year we have approved 53 people for hearing aids! The last 4 applicants are in the final stages of receiving their hearing aids. This means we have fit a total of 126 people with hearing aids so far!
  • This year we gained 29 new providers for a total of 85  in 21 different states. We are growing!
  • This year we sent two audiology students to the Scott Haug conference to further their educational goals.
  • In 2013, we donated used hearing aids to a hospice program to help those in the final stages of life communicate with their loved ones.
  • In 2013, we participated in a variety of campaigns, outreach efforts and educational opportunities including:
    • Scott Haug Conference 2013
    • Minnesota Audiology Conference
    • American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Conference
    • The Hearing Loss Association of America’s Walk for Hearing
    • Crowdtilt Campaigns to raise funds
    • Participated in local fundraisers such as The Austin Indie Aliance  benefit show and the The Mellow Mushroom fundraising night
    • Provided hearing loss prevention information with earplugs to musicians at the South by Southwest music festival

 

Alison’s Hope for Hearing Helps those in Hospice Care
Alison’s Hope for Hearing is excited to help those in hospice care by donating hearing aids to two dedicated audiologist, Jimmy Stewart and Michael McCombs. These audiologist help those in the last stages of life regain hearing abilities and communicate with loved ones by fitting hospice patients with donated hearing aids. AHH feels lucky to be a part of such significant moments in these people’s lives.
AHH on Linkedin, Facebook &Twitter!
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2013: Another successful year for Alison’s Hope for Hearing!

December 23rd, 2013

I write this from the perspective of an active volunteer in the organization since its inception in 2009, and one that has been working with AHH providers and patients.  What a year 2013 has been for Alison’s Hope for Hearing!  I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments this past year and have never been more enthusiastic about our future.  We have experienced tremendous growth in our provider network, volunteer membership and yes … even funding.  At a time when everyone is feeling stretched thin on time and money, the folks connected to Alison’s Hope have “found a way” to double its patient support this past year.  And I wanted to take this time to personally thank everyone involved:   Alison’s family in particular for their support, encouragement and active participation in every facet of the organization – our provider network, who continue to funnel those patients in need to our door and provide testing and fitting for little or no reimbursement – our marketing committee, which in this era of social media, continues to find creative ways to network and keep the organization in front of people – and our fundraising committee, which at a time where no one seems to have a nickel to spare, works tirelessly to keep our non-profit operating.  I am so grateful to be a part of this, and can only hope that if you are reading this you are also a member, and if not ask you to consider making 2014 the year that you join us in our cause – we are helping people communicate!  And that often means helping people continue to keep their jobs and earn a living, save their marriage, communicate with their physicians and healthcare professional when they are sick, and re-engage in with family and community.  It is such an important thing!  Help us make a difference –