What is your favorite holiday? Although many of us choose those big events that take over our stores and airwaves with the sights and sounds of an entire season, others of us like those quirky days that remind us of something unique. Groundhog Day is a great example of a fun holiday to celebrate the coming of spring, and we can now find a “National _____ Day” for almost anything. Among the contenders for your favorite holiday, why not consider World Hearing Day?
This annual event is sponsored by the World Health Organization as a way to remind ourselves, loved ones, communities, and indeed the world of the importance of hearing health. Not only do they set aside March 3rd as a holiday each year, but they designate a special theme for the annual event.
This year, rather than simply focusing on the people who are already engaged in the hearing health care system, the theme expands the boundaries of the hearing community by advocating for “Hearing Care for ALL!”
Do you know someone who needs hearing care yet hasn’t taken the plunge? Are you concerned for the people in your community who need care but face obstacles? Are you concerned with the world stage on which many people in need of care simply do not have access? If you can answer “Yes” to any of those questions, then World Hearing Day might be a holiday that tops your list!
Advocacy for hearing care can begin right at home with our own loved ones and family members. If you live with someone who has hearing needs, then you might know what a challenging experience it can be for all involved. Not only do they struggle to have conversations and get vital information, they can also have physical, mental, and cognitive health effects that are associated with hearing loss. Sometimes the only thing you need to do is have a conversation about the matter. A simple question can open the door toward disclosure of the ways that hearing loss changes everyday life for your family member. Some people are hesitant to talk about these things, believing that it might change the way others see them. Reassurance that you are there to help and that there is no stigma attached to hearing loss can be all it takes to make your family member or loved one ready to receive hearing care. As a crucial member of the care team, you can look back on World Hearing Day 2021 as a turning point in the hearing health of your family!
Beyond our doors exists a world of community members who need assistance getting hearing care. For some people, this assistance comes in the form of a ride to the audiologist or hearing health professional’s office. If you can offer someone a lift, you can also become a source of moral support through the journey. With so much information to gather and such a whirlwind of options to navigate, some people would like to have a friendly face along for the journey. Getting involved in a senior center or assisted living facility is a great way to advocate for hearing care among your community’s seniors. If you find yourself in the position to assist your community in this way, perhaps this is your way to celebrate World Hearing Day!
Throughout the world, people are in need of hearing care yet unable to access those services and devices. What can you do at such a grand scale? Advocacy happens in the big gestures as well as the small moments of our lives. If you simply place a call to your legislator or policymaker, you might not feel like you’re making a big difference on the global stage. Yet, if each of us took that simple step, we would be able to amplify our voices and resound through institutions and government bodies in support of hearing care. However you choose to celebrate World Hearing Day, your participation can be one small step among so many others, adding up to the big picture of a transformative global holiday!