Transitioning from a spirited debate in a board meeting to the good-natured ruckus of a family dinner is no longer the challenge it once was for business consultant, John Swete Kelly.
Following a 22-year career with the Royal Australian Engineers in the Australian Army, John moved into the corporate sector, with roles across tertiary education, mining and business advisory; most recently, he also led the team at Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association as Chief Executive.
John had noticed a gradual deterioration in his hearing for a number of years, and although he had had tests carried out at several other providers, was yet to pursue his options further. John said he was intrigued after finding out Hear and Say had recently launched its Adult Hearing Rehabilitation program, and was prompted to book an appointment.
“If you’re going to pay someone for a hearing test, I figured it’s better for it go back into the not-for-profit where it can be making a contribution to the community,” said John.
“People kept mentioning to me that I was missing parts of conversations, and in crowded environments I was finding it very difficult to hear and engage with others. That was starting to cause a problem because I wasn’t socialising as much as normal – it was easier to disengage than to engage.”
John said the most noticeable difference in having his hearing assessed at Hear and Say was the time taken to find out his goals, with a technology solution then recommended that matched his active lifestyle.
“At the commercial providers I’d been to in the past, they had a small window of time set aside for you to come in, get the test and be told what your issue was, and because they were often aligned with an equipment provider, there was little personalisation,” said John.
“I felt I was then getting the best advice for my individual circumstances because Hear and Say isn’t aligned with any one manufacturer.”
Recently fitted with hearing aids, John said he had noticed a remarkable difference in his day-to-day activities – from the ability to stream teleconference calls straight to his ears, to utilising a special program which enhanced his favourite hobby of cycling by minimising wind and filtering other background noise.
“There is still an element of stigma around about wearing hearing aids, but I would strongly recommend that people do take the opportunity to get their hearing tested,” said John.
“Hearing aids now are so small, easy fitted, colour-coordinated if desired and there’s no discomfort in any way – there are multiple options to suit everyone’s preferred style, design and solution. Once you find out about it, it’s quite amazing.”