AN MP has stepped in to try and improve conditions and services on offer to people with hearing problems in South Derbyshire.
Heather Wheeler revealed that visits to care homes and with elderly people across her constituency moved her into action to help those who need extra support.
She is now backing a campaign to make sure that people who are hard of hearing or deaf get the same ‘quality of life’ that those with hearing get.
She told the Mail: “I am supporting the move to improve residential care for older deaf people who communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) by raising awareness of a new Deaf-Aware Care quality mark for care homes.
The quality mark has been developed by two charities that support Deaf people.
I have recently visited residential homes in South Derbyshire where I have met with a number of older people.
“I learnt about their experiences in residential care and I was told how difficult it can be for those who are losing their hearing or who are deaf.
“I am supporting the new Deaf-Aware Care quality mark to ensure that all older deaf people in South Derbyshire receive the same quality of life that those with hearing do.
“For deaf BSL users, life in residential homes where no-one uses their language can be depressing and they can become isolated and withdrawn.
“I will be encouraging homes in South Derbyshire to work towards the Deaf-Aware Care quality mark make older deaf people’s lives easier.”
“In the next 20 years, the number of BSL users over 65 will increase by 35 per cent.
“We need to become more deaf-aware now to ensure their needs are met.”
More information on the scheme is now available by heading online to www.getdeafaware.org.uk