Hearing aids have come a long way in the past decade. According to Dr. Paul Y. Takahashi of the Mayo Clinic, “In recent years, hearing aid manufacturers have made great strides in developing hearing aids that are more effective for all types of hearing loss — including high-frequency hearing loss, the most common type of age-related hearing loss.”1 Of course, you may have to prepare your loved one for the fact that finding the right hearing aid, in terms of effectiveness, cost and comfort, may take some time. They may have to try several different devices and give feedback on how they’re working. An audiologist, who can test your family member’s hearing and explain the different options available to them, will prove invaluable as you go through this process.
Unfortunately, cost remains a big obstacle to hearing aids. According to the AARP, prices for a hearing aid range from $1,200 for a low-end device to $3,700 for a high-end one — and 80 percent of wearers need two.2 In most cases, hearing aids, considered an assistive device and not a medical necessity — are not covered by insurance or Medicare. (Medicare may reimburse you if there is an underlying medical disease causing the hearing loss. Additionally, some managed long-term health plans, such as VNSNY CHOICE, offer reimbursement for hearing aids.) Some seniors report good experiences with large retailers who sell aids at a discount; others feel they need the personal treatment of a private audiology practice. Whatever route you and your family member choose, remember that the first few weeks are a trial period — if anything seems wrong or uncomfortable, do not hesitate to tell your practitioner.
The National Institutes of Health states that, in addition to hearing aids, many people have found success with other types of hearing assistive technology, such as:
Your audiologist can direct you in the best way to help your family member with their hearing needs.
[...] More on Hearing Aides – Information for Family Caregivers [...]— A Day in the Life » Blog Archive » What Did You Say? Family Caregivers Helping Loved Ones with Hearing Loss / March 13th, 2013 at 8:44 pm