Karen Hudema, 71, admitted she felt left out due to her hearing loss, but now, after being awarded free hearing devices through the National Campain for Better Hearing Program from HearingLife Canada, she says her self-esteem has been restored. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Karen Hudema, 71, admitted she felt left out due to her hearing loss, but now, after being awarded free hearing devices through the National Campain for Better Hearing Program from HearingLife Canada, she says her self-esteem has been restored. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

‘I have my self-esteem back’: Vernon senior awarded hearing aids

Free testing leads to life-changing improvement for local lady

A Vernon grandmother of 25 and great grandmother of seven didn’t realize how much she was missing until she was awarded a pair of free hearing aids through the National Campaign for Better Hearing program.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Karen Hudema, 71. “Last year, I felt I was handicapped with my hearing.”

The Better Hearing Program offers free hearing tests to Canadians over 60 at participating sponsor clinics to support making testing a part of regular wellness habits while treating hearing loss in its early stages.

Sponsor clinic HearingLife registered hearing instrument practitioner (RHIP) Colleen Poole noticed Hudema was having a hard time hearing in group situations and asked if she’d like to come in for a hearing test, Hudema recalled.

“But then the COVID hit, so we couldn’t do anything for a while,” Hudema said.

Restrictions eased in the fall and Hudema was able to go to the clinic in Salmon Arm, by appointment only, and have her hearing tested free of charge.

The campaign’s research shows connections between hearing loss and other health problems such as depression, social withdrawal and isolation.

“I knew I missed things,” said Hudema, who works as a manager of Westmount Apartments, a retirement community in Vernon. “Certain voices I could hear, many I couldn’t. I learned to laugh at myself, but I felt left out, especially in group settings”

A few days after the test was completed, Poole informed Hudema she’d been approved.

“What have I been approved for?” she asked.

She would be the recipient of free hearing aids through the campaign’s Give Back Program.

The Give Back Program donates $4 for every hearing test completed at a sponsor clinic.

“The more people we test, the more people we help,” the website reads.

Hudema was ecstatic.

“I started to cry, I was so excited.”

She picked up her new devices Nov. 19, 2020.

“I couldn’t believe how well I could hear,” she said. “I hardly even know I’m wearing them. I can’t believe all the sounds I missed.”

The hearing aids were linked to Hudema’s iPhone too, meaning she’d never miss a call again from one of her seven children or 25 grandkids who call Regina, Sask., home.

“Phone calls were always really hard,” she said. “Now, I hear everything.”

Hudema said she was well aware her hearing was declining, but getting a test was low on her priority list.

“You don’t really realize how bad it is,” she said, noting it’s a gradual process. “I just kept putting it off and off.”

But now she’s urging all her peers to have their hearing tested.

“I feel they’ve (hearing aids) given me my life back. I have my self-esteem back.”

To learn more, visit campaignforbetterhearing.ca.

READ MORE: Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

READ MORE: Tires slashed at three Vernon residences


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Seniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Karen Hudema, 71, admitted she felt left out due to her hearing loss, but now, after being awarded free hearing devices through the National Campain for Better Hearing Program from HearingLife Canada, she says her self-esteem has been restored. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Downtown Revelstoke on March 4, 2021. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
48 COVID-19 cases in February for Revelstoke

Since the start of the pandemic roughly one out of 30 local residents have contracted the virus

Mussel inspection sit set up at B.C.-Alberta border. (Contributed)
Okanagan Basin Water Board calls for stronger invasive mussel protection

Letter sets out six recommendations for environment minister George Heyman to consider

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. File photo
COMMON’S CORNER: Challenging the government on vaccine availability and more

The first of a quarterly column from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison

Email jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com
LETTER: Revelstoke resident urges people to stay local

‘Please come back when the pandemic is over’

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Vancouver Island Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Riverside Centre includes a theatre hosting local plays, visiting musicians and dance troupes. It is also used for community events such as public meetings and fundraisers. Photo Town of Princeton
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

COVID-19 numbers provided by Interior Health show Salmon Arm and Revelstoke in the 200-plus range from January 2020 to February 2021 while Vernon, with a larger population, tallied more than 600 over the 14 months. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
14 months of COVID-19 data show Kamloops cases doubling Vernon’s

Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021: 605 cases reported for Vernon, 243 for Salmon Arm, 1,246 for Kamloops

Penticton Fire Department pulled a kayaker from Okanagan Lake on Wednesday after he had fallen out of his boat and called 911. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. (Western News - File)
Kayaker rescued from Okanagan Lake after falling in and calling 911

The Penticton Fire Department’s Marine Rescue pulled him out suffering from severe cold

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Most Read