Age UK Tameside support the elderly using assistive listening technology

The charity Age UK offers support and information to create “a world where everyone can love later life”, assisting the elderly community through legal clinics, fitness and dance classes, dementia support, and much more.

Following a review by a “Be Well Worker” – a community support worker for Age UK – the Tameside branch reached out to Contacta for advice on assistive listening systems. The charity wished to improve communication throughout their facilities for visitors with hearing loss. 71% of people aged 70 years and older have hearing loss, making assistive listening systems a vital supporting tool for this age group.

Contacta carried out an onsite survey, assessing the activity room, lounge, studio, and training suite. This survey considered metal loss impact, effective listening height, EMI, installation restrictions, and any impacts the surrounding environment could have on system performance.

Two Portable Hearing Loops with boundary microphones were specified for use in the café and reception. These Portable Loops provide clear one-to-one communication for people with hearing loss, connecting to hearing devices which utilise a Telecoil. Flexibility in terms of positioning made these units the ideal choice for these locations, as the Portable Loops can used by people who are both sitting and standing throughout the rooms.

In both the activity room and lounge, there were no previously installed systems. The survey detected high levels of background-noise, meaning a standard hearing loop would not be an ideal solution for those rooms. An Infrared Listening System was therefore specified to provide clear sound throughout the areas.

Two Medium Area Infrared Transmitters with Modulators were specified for the lounge, and one for the activity room. With a coverage area of 180m2, these units flood rooms with invisible infrared light and transmit a sound signal through the light, to be received directly by people with hearing loss using a Portable Infrared Receiver.

Age UK were happy to proceed with the recommended systems, and an installation was carried out by Contacta engineers on the 13th of June 2022.

Prominently positioned signage was also installed for the relevant systems. Signage is part of the commissioning certificate requirement for assistive listening systems, ensuring that users know a system is available in the area.



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