Cover Photo by Dave Macri
Summer Travel Ideas Amazing Neonatal Intensive Care at Flagler Hospital
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St. Johns magazine
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Debbie Gaylord CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angie Bell Dr. Rosanne Faull Dr. Melinda Tolitsky Dr. Peter Veling Darren Rosenbaum Kay Ferchow
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St. Johns Magazine is a upbeat magazine that focuses on the good things in life. Our main purpose is to help connect local communities in northwestern St. Johns, Florida. St. Johns Magazine will keep readers intrigued and inspired with articles for and about local people places and events.
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Cher Brown Angie Bell Graham Martin Tara Dodson OFFICE CONTACT 904-687-8538 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stjohnsmag.com ON THE COVER: The photo of a sea turtle hatchling was taken by Dave Macri and provided by Keepers of the Coast
As June opens its doors, we welcome summertime, vacations, camp, and TURTLE SEASON! As you can see, we are in love with turtles! I enjoyed learning all about sea turtles and the things we can do to help protect them at the sea turtle festival in St. Augustine.
As the mother of premature triplets who spent a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Orlando, FL about ten years ago, I am inspired by the story of the NICU at Flagler Hospital. I am grateful for the care my babies received during those early days and weeks and happy that high quality care is available in St. Johns. Since June will no doubt inspire you to get away from it all, we have a few summer travel ideas to share. June is Dad’s month to feel special, so I want to wish all the fathers out there a wonderful day of family and fun! I hope you love this issue of St. Johns Magazine! Debbie Publisher
All rights reserved ©2013 St. Johns Magazine LLC Published monthly and dis-
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Summer Travel Ideas by Kay Ferchow of AAA Ponte Vedra Beach
hhh, summertime! As kids, we couldn’t wait for our summer vacation to begin! We yearned for the warm sunshine when we could play and have fun all day long. Now that we’re adults and no longer have three months of summer vacation, we still need to take time out to play and have fun. Everyone deserves a great summer vacation! But our time is very precious, so finding the perfect vacation is important. There are so many destinations to choose from around the world, but some of the best are right here in the USA. America is blessed with so many wonderful and diverse national parks including Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon in the west and Arcadia, Shenandoah, and the Everglades in the east. Taking time to explore our own American treasures can provide an enjoyable and con-
NYC Sunset veniently close-to-home summer vacation. If you like more “civilized” action, New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco and New Orleans are wonderful destinations too, full of unique cultures, great food, active
nightlife and more. History buffs can also trace our nation’s birth and explore Civil War history in places like Washington, DC, Boston, Gettysburg, and Philadelphia. If kicking back and relaxing is your idea of the perfect vacation, a spa resort or a tropical beach may be your ideal destination. From Florida to Hawaii, we have some of the finest beaches, resort hotels and spas in the world. So go ahead, pick your place, relax, indulge and enjoy! America offers so many great destinations that choosing just one may be the hardest part of your vacation. Cruising is another great summer vacation choice. On a cruise ship, you can be as active as you want, or spend your days relaxing beside the pool or in the spa. Cruise ships now sail to so many interesting destinations in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, South Pacific, Asia and more. One of the advantages of cruising is the ability to visit many different ports of call without having to pack and unpack. And your accommodations, meals and entertainment are all included in your cruise fare, allowing you to enjoy your vacation without worry. River cruising is becoming an extremely popular vacation choice too. Some of the great rivers of the world – including the Danube, the Rhine, the Seine and the Nile – are all navigable by luxurious river cruise ships. River cruise ships sail through pastoral landscapes, often with vineyards and castles looming above, stopping at scenic landmarks, quaint villages and modern cities along the way. A river cruise has the same advantages of a large cruise ship, but the ships are smaller and more intimate – and the scenery is right outside your window!
A summer vacation is a great time to visit many places that are not easily accessible at other times of the year such as Alaska. A cruise/tour combination to Alaska is an excellent way to see the highlights of this vast land. An African safari is an excellent choice for a summer vacation as well; most of Africa is in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed. When it is summer here, it’s winter in Africa and thus a bit more temperate. Pre-planning, a summer vacation is best for finding availability and lower prices. Travel Counselors bring the personal touch and experience to help you plan the most enjoyable and memorable vacation. AAA Travel Counselors put you first going the extra mile and anticipating your wants and needs. Don’t wait any longer – book your summer vacation today. Remember, you deserve a great summer vacation! Ask about your AAA Member Benefits!
Kay Ferchow, CTC, AAA Travel Manager, 840 A1A North, Suite 180, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082, 904280-8181. Hiking Bryce Canyon 7
A Newborn Haven by Angie Bell
Maud Crosby, Nangy Davidson, Tina Pappas, Elsa Brelsford, Alison Adamoski
t. Augustine residents Sarah Milner and her husband,
Brantlee, took a six-week prenatal course at Flagler Hospital in preparation for their first baby. When they took the tour and peeked inside the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), they never dreamed they would soon be spending a lot of time there. But, baby Landon arrived six weeks early on May 9, at just 4 lbs, 11 oz., and spent his first weeks receiving excellent, loving care from the doctors and nurses in the NICU (Nick-U). The term neonatal comes from neo, "new", and natal, "pertaining to birth or origin". A NICU is an intensive care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants. The seven bed unit at Flagler, which opened in August of 2011, has been a blessing to the many families who have been able to take advantage of having the facility in St. Augustine. Before its completion, babies would have to go to Jacksonville, which was a hardship, especially on the mothers.
Nangy Davidson, Nursing Director Maternal Child Ser-
vices, began her career at Flagler in 1990. She loves what she does and is proud of her staff. This Level II facility is staffed by nine full-time nurses who have all been specially trained in the care of these tiny late- preterm (33-35 weeks) infants. Alison Adamoski has been a neonatal nurse since she graduated from the University of Florida. It was the intensity and challenge that drew her and she believes it’s a calling to work with these little ones. Elsa Brelsford, who started out in adult care, quickly switched. “It’s the satisfaction,” Elsa says about what keeps her here. “I get to see big changes.” Maud Crosby, an ARPN, brings many years of training and clinical experience to the team. There are also several doctors who work exclusively in the NICU. Only very young babies (or babies with a condition linked to being born prematurely) are treated in the NICU. These are usually infants who haven't gone home from the hospital yet after being born. How long they'll remain in the unit depends on the severity of their illness or needs. A number of the babies are going through drug withdrawal symptoms and may spend several months in NICU. The nurses get very attached to them, as some of these need to be held up to 20 hours a day. One of the best things to help the preemies grow and develop immunities is breast milk. The mothers are encouraged to use a breast pump when at home and to nurse the baby whenever possible while at the hospital. The unit is equipped with a refrigerator/freezer to store the milk and they use special bottle warmers. Even babies using a feeding tube can benefit from mother’s milk. Skin-to-skin care is also beneficial. This is where the diaper-clad baby is held against the mother’s body, with no blankets or clothes in between. Some of the benefits gained by this are warmth, stability of heartbeat and breathing, decreased crying, increased weight gain, and increased breastfeeding.
Even though Sarah was discharged three days after Landon’s birth, she was able to stay close by due to the Nesting Program. This original feature can’t be found anywhere else in the area. A special parent room, a comfortable hotel-style suite, allows the parents to spend the night and not have to travel back and forth as much. When the baby is ready, parents and baby may experience a stay in the room together. When the Milner family used this room, little Landon had a respiratory issue about 4:30 in the morning. With the clinical staff just a few steps away, the doctors and nurses were there immediately.
When asked about her experience, Sarah said, “It’s the patience and positivity that really stands out. The doctors and nurses helped me to feel reassured.” The nurses answered all her many questions, guided her through changing diapers and feeding Landon. “I had a lot of great conversations with nurses Tina (Pappas) and Alison,” she added. St. Johns County is very fortunate to have the NICU at Flagler. The level of care is exceptional, but it is the gentleness and loving concern that is felt upon entering that makes it such a special place.
Parent Room (above & left) Families who have used the NICU and have returned for a reunion (above and right) IPADS~ IPHONES
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Keepers of the Coast
2013 Turtle Festival T here are few things in the world as cute as a hatchling turtle like the one pictured above. St. Johns County is lucky enough to have an event dedicated to these beautiful creatures. The Keepers of the Coast 7th Annual Turtle Festival was held at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina on May 19th. A turtle release of a green sea turtle named Blarney was also held at Butler Beach on Saturday May 18th. The Keepers of the Coast is a local organization whose goal is to ensure that the beaches of North East Florida will remain a beautiful part of our local environment and provide a safe place for coastal residents to recreate for future generations. Keepers events like the Turtle Festival and the Right Whale Festival (in November) help educate people about sea animals including dolphins, whales and of course turtles. It was enlightening to see the giant glass jar full of cigarette butts that was collected by volunteers. Children were invited to touch the baleen whale “teeth”, a row of plates on the upper side of a whale’s jaw that resemble the “teeth” of a comb. There were turtle shells, and live sea urchins to touch, face painting, live music and many booths with educational and conservation material. The Keepers of the Coast are looking for volunteers to help with the next Beach Clean up, which will be held, July 5, from 8am-12noon. All Keepers of the Coast members and the public are welcome to participate. Cleanups Photo by Cher Brown
Photo by Tara Dodson
Photo by David Macri
occur in the months of January, April, July and September. The beaches of Northeast Florida and all of Florida are valuable nesting areas for sea turtles. The nesting season runs from March through October. For more information about becoming a volunteer for Keepers of the Coast please visit http://keepersofthecoast.org . For a great website about sea turtles visit Sea Turtle Conservancy http:// www.conserveturtles.org Shainna checking out the baleen & the Sea Turtle Conservancy booth - very interesting!
Photo by Cher Brown
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Beverly Fleming The Naturalist
everly Flemming, the official St. Johns County Naturalist retired last month. For the past thirteen years, she has shared her knowledge and passion for nature with everyone from children at Julington Creek Elementary to members of the Garden Club of Switzerland. A person with Beverly’s extensive knowledge about flowers, insects and herbs is a great asset in today’s digital world. But how does one become a Naturalist? She says her passion for foragBeverly in period costume in front of the 1890’s house at ing and living off the land began as a child. Beverly grew up in Missouri Alpine Groves Park and was lucky enough to learn from her farmer Grandfather, Dow Millsap, who began teaching her at the age of 4. He taugth her about why moss grew on one side of a tree and about the meaning of a bird’s whistle. From her German Great-Grandmother, she learned that there is hardly any plant that does not have value. Greens can be used for salads as do blooms such as dandelions. Onions and garlic cure a multitude of things. Beverly didn’t even have a television in her home or any
electricity until she was a teen, and says she never missed a thing. Instead of being entertained passively, she discovered her own entertainment in the natural world. She became self-sufficient, able to fish, garden, hunt and forage. These were valuable skills for survival but also gave her a sense of purpose and independence. She left Missouri as a young woman and ultimately settled in Northwest St. Johns, enjoying its rural lifestyle, reminding her in many ways of Missouri. She says she has always tried to be part of the community and give back, following the example set by her father, who was the County Assessor back in Missouri. He would make it a point to visit everyone in the community, to know them and their problems, and provide help when it was needed. For Beverly, sharing her knowledge about the natural world has been a community service. She wants people to understand that our lifestyle choices sometimes have a negative result by putting plant life and honey bees in danger. Beverly says, “We humans are one little cog in the gearwheel of nature. We need to understand other cogs in order to make nature work well. Otherwise, we are doing a disservice to our community and ourselves.” Beverly plans to continue to write the weekly column about nature for the St. Augustine Record and teach a Master Gardener class at the University of North Florida, and participate in the many volunteer organizations to which she belongs.
Summer Art 2013 CHILDREN’S 1 WEEK CAMPS • Abstract Painting • The Study of Animals • Still Life
• The Study of Underwater Life • Mixed Media Collage • Teen Beginner Photography & Independent Studies
*PLEASE SEE WEBSITE FOR DATES, PRICES AND TIMES
Summer Photography & Art for Adults JUNE Beginner Photography Watercolor Workshop St. Augustine Photography Walking Tour JULY FALL REGISTRATION BEGINS
AUGUST Fall Classes Start Week of August 19th Adult Drawing & Painting (group & private) Classes Available
ST. JOHNS SUMMER CAMP HUB
ST. AUGUSTINE SURF SCHOOL
St. Augustine Surf School is North Florida’s #1 Surf School. Don’t just take our word for it....Check out our forty plus 5 star reviews on tripadvisor.com, and see what everyone is saying about us. St. Augustine Surf School is dedicated to teaching safety, proper technique, and HAVING FUN!!! We are a family owned and operated surf camp with the most experienced and professional instructors around. Our camps consist of fun games and activities, daily organic and fresh snacks, a week ending surf contest with a trophy presentation and pizza party. Each student gets a t-shirt and certificate of completion. We look forward to sharing our surfing stoke with you! http://staugustinesurf.com/ 904-206-SURF
PALENCIA FINE ARTS ACADEMY
PFAA offers a summer program for children to explore their creativity. Our classes are taught by our Artist Stacie Hernandez M.F.A. through her extensive expertise students can discover their own artistic expression. Classes are limited to 12 students this enables PFAA to focus on individualized instruction. Continued education is also available year round. Our summer program offers exciting weeks such as Abstract -- Drawing: The study of animals -- Still Life --The Study of Underwater Life -- Mixed Media Collage --Teen Beginner Photography & Independent Studies. Our unique camps are for ages 6-11 & 12-17.Sibling discount available! CONTACT US! WEB --www.palenciafineartsacademy.com ---EMAIL info@palen-
Campers identified as non-swimmers or poor swimmers receive free lessons throughout the summer. The Y also offers financial assistance to ensure that all kids get the chance to experience camp. VisitFirstCoastYMCA.org or call 904.265.1775 for more details.
STARLIGHT GYMNASTICSStarlight Gymnas-
tics is the best year-round gymnastics school in North Florida and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. We are well respected and known nationwide for our exceptional programs. Our preschool, recreational, boys and tumbling classes as well as our competitive team programs have attracted hundreds of children for the past 15 years. Our Summer Camp program will offers one-week sessions from June 10th through August 10th, from 9-3. Please call us at 260-4866 or visit us at www.starlightjax.com
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Visit FirstCoastYMCA.org or call 904.265.1775 to learn more. 15
CALENDAR OF EVENTS - June 2013
Photo by Graham Martin
Community ~ Family ~ Fun
El Galeon Replica of the Spanish Fleet will be
in St. Augustine until June 9 - catch it if you can! www.vivaflorida.org
June 1 Feel the Wheels Benefiting The Children’s Museum of St. Johns
The Junior Service League of St. Augustine hosts a fundraiser benefiting The Children’s Museum of St. Johns in front of the St. Augustine Outlet Mall on the east side of I-95 (exit 318) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore construction vehicles, semi-trucks, service vehicles, boats and much more. Tickets are $5 for children 3 and up. Adults and children under 3 receive free admission. http://feelthewheels-es2005. eventbrite.com/?rank=1
June 7 First Friday Florida Book Club We’re doing a year-long celebration of Florida literature! Our June book: Margaret’s Story by Eugenia Price. This historical fiction romance is based on the life of Margaret Seton Fleming who lived at the Fleming Island plantation, Hibernia. Learn about what life was like along the St. Johns River against the backdrop of the Civil War. 10:15
June 7 First Friday Art Walk San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street, St. Augustine Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events from 5 - 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries. Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery, 157 King St. Info: 904-829-0065; www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com/
June 8 St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation Family Fun Day 16
June 27 LB Reptile Experience
Model boat building and races, shipwreck artifacts, tmug-o’-war contests, cannon firings, youth sail rigging, boat safety, food, the on-going construction of a 16th century Spanish boat and much more will be featured at the beautiful Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave.,free for St. Johns County residents. 904-599-3800, www. staugmaritimeheritage.org
Join us for an exciting Viva 500 Event! LB Reptile lizards, snakes, turtles and more! This program helps educate children about the needs, conservation and care of these wonderful reptiles. 10am http:// www.lbreptileexperience.com
June 12 Chess Club for Grades 5 - 12
Bartram Trail Branch Library. Check or Checkmate? Do you play chess? Do you want to learn how to play chess? If you’re in 5th through 12 grades and would like to be part of a chess club, we have the right one for you! We’re meeting at 4 pm on Wednesday--join us!@4 pm
June 14 to June 16 Marine Studios to Marineland Dolphin Adventure: Celebrating Dads and Families In celebration of its 75th anniversary and the many generations of families who have visited the park in all its many incarnations--Marine Studios, Marineland of Florida, and now Marineland Dolphin Adventure--this weekend offers families the chance to learn all about the current facility. Commemorating both Father’s Day Weekend as well as the year of its opening, 1938, . Info: 904-471-1111; www.marineland.net
St. Augustine Ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream The St. Augustine Ballet presents Shakespeare’s classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., in St. Augustine. Performances are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $25 and $30. Info: www.saintaugustineballet.com or call 904-824-1746
JUNE 16 - FATHER’S DAY June 18 & 25th Children’s Summer Film Festival 2pm - Too hot to be outside? Then come on in and watch a movie on our big screen! Each week we’ll be showing a movie with a G or PG rating, so it’s fun for the whole family. Bartram Trail Branch Library at 827-6960 for movie titles and ratings.
Women’s Wellness Mixer at Palencia Clubhouse 5:30 – 7:30pm. Bring a friend, enjoy complimentary drinks & hors d’oeuvres, meet area physicians, win door prizes, shop local vendors and much more! Info:Emily.email@example.com or www.stjohnsmom.com
Uptown SaturdayNight From 5 – 9 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month, experience live music, refreshments, new exhibits, book signings and much more at the galleries, antique stores and unique shop on St. Augustine’s San Marco Avenue between Ripley’s Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios. The Mission Nombre de Dios provides FREE PARKING. Info: 904-823-9263.
July 4 Concert & Fireworks in St. Augustine
Starting at 6 p.m., the All Star Orchestra performs a free, two-hour concert in the Plaza de la Constitucion. At 9:30 p.m., one of the East Coast’s largest fireworks shows bursts above the ancient Castillo de San Marcos and reflects in the waters of Matanzas Bay. Admission is free with the best vantage points located along the bayfront between the Castillo and the Bridge of Lions. Info: 904825-1004
July 5 World Golf Village Fireworks,
World Golf Village celebrates Independence Day with its annual Community Fireworks-one of the largest displays in Northeast Florida. Join Fairways Cafe for a special All American BBQ from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. followed by priority seating for the IMAX showing of Man of Steel at 7:15 p.m. Info:www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org
Christina Deas from Palencia Fine Arts Academy at their Art Show held on May 19th. Amazing works by emerging artists as young as 6 years old.
Tropical Smoothieâ€™s new location at The Shoppes of Murabella, World Golf Village. The perfect place to relax on the patio with that caribbean vibe! (above) Manager Kelly McLaughlin (right) is excited by the positive feedback from the community
210 on Tap
*check facebook (210 Community Alliance) for next monthâ€™s date
(left) Barney Barnhart of Taps & Edward Hutzel of Yofrodipity (right) Dr. Melinda Tolitsky of St. Johns Family Chiropractic, Larry Engals of Encompass Insurance & Priscilla Rentz of Winn Dixie (Photo by Graham Martin)
Community ~ Family ~ Fun
Palencia Fine Arts Academy
Dr. Melinda Dr. Melinda S. Tolitsky, DC
Who should go to a chiropractor?
Y our best choice for active
Westminster Woods on Julington Creek
As a second generation chiropractor, I grew up receiving regular chiropractic care and naturally I thought everyone went to a chiropractor. It was not until much later in life that I realized how wrong I was in regards to this question. So who should see a chiropractor? My answer is anyone seeking an alternative more holistic approach to health and wellness.
What are the most common reasons people seek chiropractic care? The most common issues that bring people into a chiropractic clinic are low back pain, neck pain and headaches.
How effective is chiropractic in treating Low Back Pain?
According to the April 24, 2013 patient pages issue of JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) most uncomplicated cases of low back pain can be successfully treated with conservative methods that include physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture and exercise. Chiropractic can be a cost effective treatment for many musculoskeletal conditions. Goodman DM, Burke AE, Livingston EH. Low Back Pain. JAMA. 2013;309(16):1738. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.3046.
Please feel free to call my office at 904-547-2435 or email at DrMelindaTolitsky@att.net if you have more questions or would like some additional information. The answers here reflect results that I have experienced in my practice, but everyone responds differently. If you have any specific question you would like addressed in the next forum, please email me at Drmelindatolitsky@att.net. 18
At Westminster Woods on Julington Creek, our residents quickly find they have more time to enjoy their passions in life now that they’re free from the time and expense of home maintenance. Choose from a variety of living styles and activities, all on our beautiful waterfront campus. For many of our residents, the only question left was: Why did we wait so long?
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by Dr. Peter Veling, DVM
Every day clients bring their pets to
me that are overweight. Every day I have to ask people to realize that they need to reduce their pet’s weight. Why is a pet’s weight so important? There was a study done by Purina several years ago that illustrated the answer. Purina went into veterinary hospitals and sought data about how long Labrador Retrievers live and how heavy they were. This was not a hard study to do, nor did it take long to gather the data. Why did they use Labradors? Nearly every year Labradors are the first or second most popular breed in the United States. The Labradors involved had already passed away. They were placed into two groups, lean dogs and heavy dogs. To make a long story short, the lean dogs out lived the heavy dogs by 18 months. When a pet only lives 12 years, as most big dogs do, 18 months is a big deal. The length of a small dog’s life is probably 24 months longer if it stays slender. Small dogs live longer than large dogs anyway. Then Purina did another study that illustrated the problem even more. Still using Labradors they asked “What was the most common reason for a Labrador to be put to sleep?” This study did not include Labs who died of other causes of any kind. These dogs had something wrong that forced the owners to make a decision they did not want to make. The result was astounding. 82% could not get up any more. Why could they no longer get up? They had been heavy and wore out their joints to the point of severe arthritis. Many of these dogs were probably on various arthritis drugs. This means the last years of their lives were expensive. Both of these studies point to one thing, we are over feeding and, in particular, giving our four-footed family members too many treats. There is an easy test you can do to see if you are the guilty party. Take and rub the back of your hand with your fingertips. Then use the same fingertips and rub the side of your pet’s chest without pushing in. Is it the same? If your pet is lucky, it is. If you have to push in to feel the ribs, your pet is in danger of losing its life early because it is too heavy. You can reverse the problem. Death due to obesity is 100% determined by the owner. Pets don’t open the refrigerator. Pets don’t go to the grocery store. If your pet is heavy, stop buying your pets’ treats and stop giving them treats. Weight loss of as little as 10% can make a pet significantly more active. Get that weight down and get back as much of those months of extra life with them as you can. You totally have control over the amount of food and number of treats, not your pet.
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Hearing is Our Gateway to Communication
By Dr. Rosann Faull
earing enables us to learn the spoken word. Hearing and communication keeps us connected to our family, friends, co-workers and the world around us. The loss of hearing is usually a gradual process, slowly the TV gets louder and more often the hearing impaired person says ‘what’ , ‘pardon me’ or ‘would you repeat that’.
Often it is family members who notice these communication difficulties. And after years, finally the hearing impaired person goes for help. Unfortunately, our research indicates that people wait too long to get help, about 7 years. A complete evaluation includes listening to pure tones and assessing the ability to understand speech, both in quiet and noisy listening environments. If a diagnostic evaluation indicates help is needed and hearing aids may help, give it a try. Hearing aids are improving every year, but they do not eliminate the underlying permanent hearing loss. There are some strategies to help everyone, with and without hearing loss, to understand better: First, turn down the background noise. Our house and world has become very noisy. Everyone has problems understanding when the TV or radio is too loud. Turn off the dishwasher or washing machine. Speech is much clearer and easier to understand, for everyone, when there is no competing noise. Look at and face the speaker. When you face the person you are talking or listening to speech is slightly louder and you have the listener’s attention. You may not read lips but you do read expressions and gestures. Besides, as my Mother reminded me, it is not polite to talk to someone’s back. SLOW DOWN!!! Fast speech becomes more and more difficult to understand as we age, regardless of hearing ability. Older brains have a difficult time keeping-up with fast speech. Use shorter sentences. This way the last word is as loud as the first word. It also gives the listener time to comprehend what has been said. Good communication and good speaking ‘manners’ help everyone understand better. My Mother would remind me: ‘Look at me when you’re talking, slow down and speak clearly’. As a Doctor of Audiology I would add: get some help for your hearing. Better hearing, through hearing aids, will help you understand language and process conversations more naturally.
Rosann W. Faull, Au.D, Board Certified Doctor of Audiology 12276 San Jose Blvd., Suite 710 ~ 904-262-5550; Fax: 904-683-4592/ website: www.drfaull.com 22
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