BRUNSWICK — Bath resident Lydia Bloomer will have an easier time hearing jingle bells this holiday season thanks to the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation’s donation of hearing aids.

Bloomer, 64, is a retired Bath Iron Works employee who has struggled with her hearing for years. On Dec. 15, she was fitted for a brand-new set of hearing aids that almost immediately changed how she perceives the world around her.

“I think it’s too loud; I can hear my own voice,” said Lydia as Diane Charpentier, a hearing instrument specialist, who is also the chair of Maine’s Board of Speech, Audiology, and Hearing adjusted some settings on the aids.

“You’re supposed to be able to hear your own voice; you just haven’t heard it in so long you’re not used to it,” said Charpentier. “You’re going to hear a lot of things.

Lydia’s husband, Malcolm Bloomer, said, “She’s been waiting a long time.”

The new hearing aids are thanks to the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation, which donates them to those who are in need and can’t afford them on their own.

“This foundation gives us a new path to achieve this mission by helping deserving individuals and organizations in their communities enrich their quality of life,” said Michael Andreozzi, CEO of Beltone New England.

Malcolm, the pair’s son, and Lydia’s sister Pam Bourget all wrote letters to Beltone detailing Lydia’s need for hearing aids and the daily difficulties she experienced.

“Over the past few years, I have noticed that Lydia has had a problem with her hearing. I have to speak loudly when we are talking. On the phone, she will ask me to repeat what I have said,” wrote Bourget. “Lydia would benefit greatly with hearing aids.”

Lydia said communicating with her family was often difficult, as she’d have to ask people to repeat themselves to the point of frustration. Often, if she was watching TV by herself, family would come in to discover the volume was turned up as high as it could go.

Affording hearing aids on her own, however, was out of reach. Malcolm had been laid off, and Lydia was on a fixed income that put hearing aids, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, out of reach.

“Financially, we’ve been strapped,” said Malcolm.

The foundation’s gift has enabled Lydia to hear things clearly with a modern pair of hearing aids that even come with their own phone app.

“So many people have been fitted through our foundation; it’s an awesome program,” said Charpentier.

For more information about the foundation, visit