“Dear valued patient,” the letter began, “it is with some regret that I will be retiring from private practice.” My audiologist was selling her business. I put aside the letter with a heavy sigh. Why did I feel like I had suddenly lost my anchor and the hearing loss seas were getting rough? It was time to find a new audiologist.
Two weeks later I received a similar letter from my eye doctor. My general practitioner also recently cut back her hours to allow for more personal time. What was with all my health care providers? It suddenly dawned on me that I had been visiting some of these doctors for more than 25 years. As I aged, so had they.
Luckily for me, my audiologist included several recommended replacements in her goodbye letter, including one that was a specialist in my type of hearing aid. This was a good starting point, but if I was to start over with a new audiologist, I felt that I owed it to myself to do some research.
Online searches provided a list of providers in my area, but few had detailed reviews available. I emailed my hearing loss friends for their thoughts. Did anyone have an audiologist they particularly loved? Some did, some didn’t.
One friend recommended the same person my audiologist had suggested. That was a good sign! I will start with him and make any changes from there if need be.
This time around I am an experienced consumer. I know what I want from an audiologist and how to ask for the care I needed. I want someone who will:
- Listen to my particular hearing needs and offer ideas for meeting my goals.
- Be familiar with the latest offerings in both hearing aids and assistive listening technology.
- Run a user-friendly office with hearing assistance technology available if needed.
- Offer flexible scheduling since my hearing aids must be replaced regularly (subscription model).
I am excited to put self-advocacy into play as I began this new relationship. My first appointment is in a few weeks. I will let you know how it goes.
Readers, how do you find a new audiologist?