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The Aged Veterans project and hearing loss

The Joining Forces programme has now ended

Joining Forces was an Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supported programme in partnership with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. It was delivered by 12 local projects across England by local Age UKs and SSAFA branches. After 3 successful years, the programme has now ended. Many of the pages in this section will still be useful for information and advice. Alternatively, you can look at the relevant sections of the Age UK website.

HearingFunded by The Chancellor using LIBOR Funds, Action on Hearing Loss’ three-year Aged Veterans project offers information, advice, support and signposting to veterans with hearing loss and tinnitus born before 1 January 1950, including those with undiagnosed hearing loss.

Aged Veterans works with family members and carers, and can provide support in community and residential sessions, as well as on a one-to-one basis at home for veterans unable to access local services. Locally developed and led, the service works with community groups and partners to assist in making them more inclusive to veterans with hearing loss.

Since 2017, Aged Veterans has helped more than 3,000 veterans, and given support to 800 family members and carers. Their experienced team attend regional events, give talks, make visits to community groups and, where possible, visit veterans and their families in their homes to provide information and support.

Supporting veterans with hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common health issue in the armed forces. Many veterans will have had prolonged exposure to loud noise from small arms fire, artillery, engines and other machinery during service, which has caused permanent hearing damage.

The 2014 Lost Voices report, produced by the Royal British Legion with the support of Action on Hearing Loss, found that veterans under the age of 75 are around three-and –a-half times more likely to experience hearing loss than the general population.

Studies show that the decibel levels for routine military activities far exceed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendation of regular exposure to no more than 85 decibels. For example, a jet take-off at a distance of 25 metres is 150 decibels, and the general noise level on an aircraft carrier deck is 140 decibels. Jet and helicopter flyovers/landings routinely exceed 100 decibels, whilst small arms fire is around 140 decibels.

Where is this service available?

Their services are available across England, as well as North and South Wales, and Northern Ireland.

What's on offer

Aged Veterans provides information and support to older veterans in local community settings or through home visits for those who are unable to travel.

Aged Veterans offer:

  • basic hearing checks
  • information about assistive equipment
  • support to help you access NHS services
  • information on benefits
  • information about local community groups
  • other complementary information and support.

They also provide support to the families and carers of older veterans with hearing loss or tinnitus, and work with community groups to enable them to be more inclusive of veterans with hearing loss.

Get in touch

To find out more about how our Aged Veterans project can support you, contact their Information Line. Telephone: 0808 808 0123 (freephone) / Textphone: 0808 808 9000 (freephone).

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Last updated: Jun 16 2020

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