Here's a Post from a Guest Blogger - Jenny Harrison on behalf of YourHearing.co.uk, a leading website that specialises in impartial advice and expert information on hearing aids. For independent, impartial and accurate advice on hearing devices, visit the site today.
You may have already heard of guide dogs being used for the blind but there are also hearing dogs that are trained to alert deaf people to important sounds and danger signals.
These special dogs are trained to safeguard people that are hard of hearing both at home and in public places, as well as work. They are much more than furry friends; they can really change people’s lives for the better, offering freedom and self-reliance.
Some people who suffer a severe hearing loss struggle to carry out everyday tasks like nipping to the local shop for some milk or bread. Hearing dogs can help as they are legally allowed access to public places under the Equality Act 2010. This means that the animal can assist you to the supermarket and go on public transport, so you don’t need to rely on a friend or family member.
If you are hearing impaired and find that you never go out and tend to stay at home alone, a hearing dog can really give you a new lease of life.
They can also give parents with a deaf child the independence that THEY need. Instead of doing all the jobs themselves, the dog can take on some responsibility- easing pressure on mum and dad. How can they help a deaf child?
They can wake the little one up when the alarm clock goes off, they can fetch the child when the parents want them, and they can indicate danger.
Unfortunately some people who are profoundly deaf struggle with their self-esteem. Losing your hearing can have a damaging effect on your confidence but guide dogs can help.
The trained pooches can assist with everything from the alarm clock and doorbell to the smoke alarm. This support, in time, can help to build up your assurance.
It really can make a big difference knowing that someone is watching over you all day and night. This can help to make you feel safe and secure and reduce your stress levels, improving your confidence and well-being tremendously.
Just knowing that there is someone there who will alert you to a fire engine siren or the baby monitor can change your life on many levels.
They are much more than a guide dog. They can also be your best friend. Some deaf people feel isolated and lonely but having a pet companion can help, giving you someone to talk to and love.
If you find it hard to socialise, hearing dogs can offer the friendship that you need but they can also encourage you to go out and meet new people.
So as you can see, hearing dogs are immensely important not just in the UK but across the world. They are a fundamental lifeline for people with a hearing loss.
If you want to apply for a hearing dog in the UK, you can visit the hearingdogs.org.uk website and register your interest. However, numbers are limited and it’s important to note that waiting times can be as long as five years.
In the U.S. contact Dogs for the Deaf and in Canada contact Hearing Ear Dogs of Canada.