4 Fundamentals–Fundamental #3
#3. Hearing: Regular hearing check-ups. Purchasing the right hearing aids when needed. Sr. Advisor, M, is–but almost wasn’t–a staunch supporter of hearing aids. Hearing well is a given–until we don’t, and risk missing out on stimulation and information. Hearing loss can become a safety factor as well if, for instance, one doesn’t hear a car coming—and what about heeding certain instructions. (Think telephone instructions, announcements at airports.)
After taking many weeks to adjust to her needed hearing aids, M was so enthusiastic about alleviating hearing loss that we devoted a post to her experience and advice- https://helpparentsagewell.com/2010/05/22/why-hearing-aids-get-put-in-a-drawer-never-to-come-out-again/ Not only do people with hearing loss miss so much, they also cause exasperation in those having to repeat over and over so it’s a negative for everyone. Clearly doesn’t help parents age well.
M has mulled over the question of why people easily accept wearing glasses to improve vision but resist hearing aids. Perhaps because so many younger people wear glasses with fashionable frames whereas mostly older people have hearing aids (which they try to hide?). Thus, people generalize–hearing aids signify “old.” Is it because it takes perseverance to get used to them? Or is it because they’re expensive and many don’t purchase the best for their situation and spend money, but end up wasting it on an unsatisfactory product that’s not worth using for various reasons? Or they don’t know there’s a return policy.
Check: there should be a return policy on hearing aids. If the first don’t seem right after giving them a good try, try others. (Note: Dad bought expensive new hearing aids; died three weeks later; we were told to return the hearing aids for a full 30-day-refund, which we got…no problem.)
Also check this March 2012 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=wEoJsdhnW2A. It’s informative and features the Medical Director of the Ear Institute at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. He makes a good case for hearing loss being more noticeable than today’s small hearing aids. (US News‘s 2011 Best Hospitals edition ranks NY Eye and Ear #26 in Ear, Nose and Throat [and #8 in ophthalmology] in the US.)
NYEE has also posted an on-line “simple self-assessment quiz” under Get Your Hearing Tested at http://ilikemyhearing.org/?p=288
Become a Moving Target, See Well, Hear Well. Important for Aging Well.