Here’s a few sobering statistics about hearing loss, courtesy of the Hearing Loss Association of America:
Approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss;
People with hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before seeking help;
Only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use one.
Also from HLAA:
“Hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact nearly every dimension of the human experience, including physical health, emotional and mental health, perceptions of mental acuity, social skills, family relationships, and self-esteem, as well as work and school performance.”
This information should illustrate why OLSHF is so grateful for the partnerships of our hearing professionals in Oregon that work with us and our ROAR! Hearing Assistance program. Each year we help over 200 Oregonians in need receive hearing exams and new hearing aids, reconnecting them to family and friends, to their previous social life, and to the world of sounds that surround them.
One such partner is Dr. Todd Landsberg of Coos Bay, who has worked with the Foundation since 2013. Todd travels throughout Oregon to help coordinate our ROAR! mobile hearing events, seeing as many as 12-15 patients in a single day. “My joy comes from knowing that my tools and resources have bettered these people’s lives. They thank me and are extremely appreciative, and working with the Lions makes it so easy. I just have to show up and utilize my skills.”
Todd does much more than just showing up, he also connects with ROAR! recipients on a personal level. “In Bend this year, there was a Mother-Daughter duo, Mom had a lot of hearing loss. When she arrived she really couldn’t hear anything conversationally and was really introverted as a result. When fiddling with her new hearing aids, her daughter suggested mentioning the Seahawks to get her to open up. So I casually mentioned – I was kidding – that Russell Wilson was over-rated as a quarterback. She immediately said ‘Oh no he’s not, he’s worth every penny.’ Her daughter broke down in tears, she wasn’t expecting a major difference.”
Todd helps us make a major difference for so many Oregonians yet to hear him describe his experience you’d think he was the one that was benefiting. He gives up his Friday’s to make the ROAR! mobile hearing event happen and in his words: “Money just can’t make these memories happen.I’d rather have these memories of helping people and working with the Lions, than having a million dollars.”
As helpful as Todd is for those we help through ROAR! he also has a tip for others to keep our hearing in good shape. When asked what can be done to take care of our hearing he suggests to wear hearing protection and “If you want to listen to music or podcasts I suggest bone conduction headphones, they keep the ear canal nice and open.”
Thanks for the tip, Todd – and Thank you for helping us Keep the Promise of addressing preventable hearing loss for those in need.