Staff Standpoint | April 2019 Hearing Review
Some people will tell you that slow is good—but I’m here to tell you fast is better. I have always believed this, in spite of the trouble it has caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. Live where the real winds blow, sleep late, have fun, get wild…Ros ipsa loquitar, Let the good times roll. — Hunter S. Thompson
I had the great fortune of seeing, firsthand, how people can “age gracefully.” My stepfather was a Navy veteran who, after serving in three theaters of battle in WWII aboard the USS Tuscaloosa, spent the bulk of his career as a first mate and captain on Great Lakes’ ore boats. He was right out of Central Casting for a sea captain: loud, gruff, bigger-than-life, but also kind, hilarious, and full of tales. In marked contrast, my mother was a quiet, gentle, dignified woman who had been a social worker and vaguely resembled, if not in outward appearance then select attributes, Queen Elizabeth. She had an air of nobility in exile. For over 20 years, this unlikely pair enjoyed a more-or-less idyllic retirement, crisscrossing the globe by air, by sea, and mostly by land via a gigantic Bounder motorhome that was 740 feet shorter than the vessels the Captain had piloted—giving him full license to drive it maniacally. Like a sports car.
It would be simplistic to say the reason they were happy and aging gracefully was because they were fortunate enough to have the economic means to travel and possess the things they did. And that certainly didn’t hurt. However, what really lit their fuse of happiness were family, friends, ex-colleagues, neighbors, high-school alumni, obtuse characters in their Florida vacation community, folks they met on their travels, locals at the nearby bar/restaurant, members of our church—you get the idea: everyone. For naturally reserved Scandinavians, they were hyper-engaged in a moveable feast of conversation.
My “takeaway” regarding aging from observing them and others like them? Keep engaged with the world, keep developing and exploring your interests, keep moving, and stay vital. (For a great perspective on retirement from hearing healthcare, see David Hawkins’ article in the August 2017 Hearing Review.)
Profession-wide Awareness Campaign. “Hear Well. Stay Vital.” is also the theme of the excellent new Preserve Your Passion public awareness campaign initiated by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), in partnership with the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), the International Hearing Society (IHS), and the American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance. The website helps disprove common myths about hearing loss and offers information on what to expect from a professional audiological exam, providing links to free online hearing tests and smartphone apps that can assist with baseline evaluations. This is a campaign literally everyone in our field can get behind.
The hearwellstayvital.org website also offers an exceptional selection of materials for use by hearing healthcare professionals. In a series of videos, the “Hear Well. Stay Vital.” campaign shows the importance of hearing health to pursuing and staying engaged with activities that ignite your passion, such as dance, music, or enjoying grandchildren. Importantly, you can use these 15-, 30-, and 60-second videos on your website and in your own digital content to help educate patients and consumers about the benefits of better hearing. There are also posters, social media ideas, and a ton of useful promotional materials. You owe it to your business to take a look.
To access these FREE materials, visit: https://www.hearwellstayvital.org/about/support-materials
Citation for this article: Strom KE. New profession-wide campaign: Hear Well. Stay Vital. Hearing Review. 2019;26(4)[Apr]:6.