by Debra Bare-Rogers – Region 1 Director
Living in the Northeastern part of the U.S. gives me many opportunities to do something I love to do: HIKE. My hearing loss hasn’t stopped me from exploring beautiful trails, climbing mountains, crossing waters (which are loud with my hearing aids in), and staring in awe at stunning waterfalls. I am so grateful to enjoy nature and all its seasons. And yes! I went snowshoeing and hiked in spikes this past winter. I recently added hearing aid molds, which better secure my aids in my ears, so I don’t lose them. Also, my hearing aids are now easier to spot if I do drop them or if they fall out. My hearing aids also allow me to enjoy the sounds of nature- an added bonus.
When someone finds a lost item such as a glove, trekking pole, or jacket on the trail, hikers usually leave them at the trailhead in hopes that the owner can retrieve it. But what about hearing aids? Do you hang it on the trailhead sign and hope someone sees it?
Last spring, a fellow hiker posted that she had found a hearing on the trail (Oy! We know a hearing aid can cost $2500+, right?). The hiker contacted a local audiologist who then reached out to the manufacturer with the serial number on the hearing aid. Why? To help ID the person who lost it. Or the aid could be refurbished and donated to someone who needs it.
Success! Thanks to the hiker, audiologist, and the manufacturer, the hearing aid, complete with a cleaning, fresh batteries and check-up, was shipped back to the original owner. Imagine getting a call that your missing hearing aid has been found!
I shared this story on several FB pages; it got over 10,000 hits/shares. This means 10,000 individuals now know that if they find a hearing aid on a trail, it can be returned. From this post, three other hikers shared they also had found hearing aids and now knew what to do with them. Social media at its best, right?
What do you enjoy doing outside? Share with us – you can also email me at RD1@alda.org with your Region 1 inquiries. See you on the trail!