Hearing Loss & Hearing Aid Options
Hearing loss affects an increasing number of seniors, making it not only hard to hear but to enjoy life overall. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders(NIDCD), out of seniors ages 65 through 74, approximately one in three are dealing with hearing loss. The article also states that half of those over age 75 have difficulty hearing. Hearing loss is a reality that many seniors face and can have a profound impact on their lives. Many seniors begin to feel embarrassed about their hearing loss and frustrated as a result of not being able to hear as clearly as they once did. When seniors begin to feel restricted and limited by their hearing loss or begin to feel depressed and isolate themselves because of embarrassment, it’s time to take action and fight back against this symptom of aging.
According to Edward Toy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey, many seniors think that hearing loss is just something that happens as they get older. “It’s a common belief that hearing will continue to diminish over time as a result of getting older and there is little to nothing that can be done about it. While this is true to an extent, hearing loss is not something that seniors have to live with,” says Ed. “If seniors begin to notice that their hearing loss is getting in the way of them living their lives or is affecting their safety, it may be time to visit an audiologist and get a hearing test done in order to see if a hearing aid may be a beneficial option to help you or a loved one deal with hearing loss.”
MANAGING A HEARING IMPAIRMENT WITH HEARING AIDS
There are many hearing aid options that seniors can benefit from, each with different features and benefits. Some of these options include:
- Electronic Aids. These are the most used way to help seniors with hearing loss. They are used to make sounds louder so that seniors have an easier time hearing. Electronic aids come in a multitude of styles to provide seniors with many options. These include behind the ear, in the ear, and in the canal aids. Each of these forms are worn differently and serve different purposes. For example, those worn behind the ear are for mild to profound hearing loss, while those worn in the ear are for mild to severe hearing loss. Hearing aids that are worn inside the canal are used for hearing impairments ranging from mild to moderately severe. These are not recommended for those with severe hearing loss because they have a smaller battery and as a result are not able to work as long as other electronic aids.
- Hearing Implants. Also known as cochlear implants, these aids assist hearing loss through a small electronic device. Through surgery, the cochlear implants are placed within the inner ear to benefit seniors who have severe hearing loss or are deaf. Depending on the severity of a seniors’ hearing loss, this may be an option for one or both ears, according to the NIDCD.
- Bone Anchored Hearing Systems. According to the NIDCD, bone anchored hearing aids “bypass the ear canal and middle ear.” This type of hearing aid is specially designed to use the body’s ability to transfer sound through bone vibration. The bone anchored hearing aid picks up and takes sound through vibrations and then relays the sound to seniors’ inner ear.
- Non-Hearing Aid Options. If seniors do not prefer to use another form of hearing aids, there are other options that can be considered. Try using assistive listening devices to amplify sound from phones, microphones or apps. These devices, according to the NIDCD, can help seniors to hear better in churches, theaters and auditoriums. It is also possible to try lip reading, although it is not entirely reliable. This can help seniors follow a conversation by following the movement of the mouth and body. Watching facial expressions can help to decipher meaning, however this can be difficult and misleading at times. It can help to become specially trained and taught in order to really benefit from lip reading.
“Before committing to any type of hearing aid, seniors should visit an audiologist to determine which type will best benefit them,” says Ed. “It’s important to find out just how much hearing loss is currently being dealt with and how far it has progressed or how quickly it may get worse. This will help to determine which type of hearing aid will be best and what features will be the most beneficial for their particular form of hearing loss. Seniors should be sure to ask their audiologist if they are able to try the devices before they decide on purchasing one, as they are not a one-size-fits all device. It is also important to know whether or not there is a warranty period for the hearing aid you’re interested in purchasing, what the warranty will cover and if a replacement will be available if any repairs are necessary in the future.”
INSPIRING WELLNESS AT LIONS GATE
At Lions Gate, wellness is more than fitness and eating well. Wellness consists of every little detail, from our programs and activities to our healthcare services and amenities. We strive to inspire wellness of the whole person – body, mind and spirit, in order to ensure our residents are not only living a healthy lifestyle, but a happy one as well. Our five-star CMS-rated Health Center can help you and your loved ones receive the quality care that is needed right where you are. To experience our lifestyle, call or visit us today.
EXPERIENCE LIFESTYLE, CARE, COMMUNITY AND TRADITION AT LIONS GATE
Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living,Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.
Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.
As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.
Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.