When Your Audiologist Retires

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“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?

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16 thoughts on “When Your Audiologist Retires”

  1. One of my biggest fears is having my audiologist retire, and how timely, as we had just had this discussion the last time I saw her. I have been seeing her for decades and we essentially “grew up” together through all the trials and fittings over the years.
    Same thing is happening with my other providers. One can only hope the same level of respect and understanding can be created with new ones.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      The good news is we are experienced consumers now so hopefully we can develop a productive relationship with someone new. Fingers crossed!

  2. Jerry Henderson – Pownal Maine – Thank you for coming to my space. This is where I post thoughts, opinions and commentary on a variety of subjects at irregular intervals. I try to do something weekly, but have not nailed down a rigid schedule, like every Wednesday, yet. If you would like email notifications of new posts, you can make that happen right on the site. Simply enter your email address to subscribe. Also, if you would like to comment I welcome that. Just do so in the space at the bottom of any selected post. Sharing thoughts, opinion and commentary is a peculiarly human characteristic. It must be exercised to be enjoyed. Jerry Henderson
    Jerry Henderson says:

    Good morning Shari. Well, this is another timely post. My wonderful audiologist who for the past year and a half has guided me through the murky world of cochlear implant acclimation is dropping hints that suggest her imminent retirement. There are other audiologists in the hospital, of course – but she’s the *one*. I’m not looking forward to this and it may a while away yet.

    Adapting to change is the heart and soul of real life. I don’t like it, but it’s all i’ve ever done. Thinking of finding someone – perhaps local (my clinic is a 2 hour bus/train ride away) who is competent to manage a CI presents a formidable challenge. I am not filled with excitement at the prospects :-). I hope your search is successful and prompt. Disability implies dependence and nobody likes being dependent. But there it is. We have no choice but to make it work.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good luck to you in your search too. The good news is that we have been through this before so now we know what we need. Don’t forget to ask for it. Thanks Jerry!

  3. My first audiologist was with state voc rehab (I was a client of blind rehab). She was ok but I was new, didn’t know what ask. Second I saw an ENT doctor and audiologist in private practice. I liked neither so didn’t return. Then I attended an HLAA meeting, met a gentleman 12+ years older who’d worn aids almost all his life. Recommended a clinic. He met me there. The sweetest, most knowledgeable, accessible audiologist and other employees! She’s about 10 years younger than my son! (My son is 50.) I hit the jackpot! I’ve also recommended her to a couple of others and they love her!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Great news! Fingers crossed my experience will be similar. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Andrea Bates – United States – Andrea Bates is a native New Yorker living in NC who loves wearing her flip flops year-round and tends to drastically cut her hair as the temperatures drop each year. A licensed clinical social worker, she has spent many years volunteering for both, local and international postpartum organizations to offer support and an ear to new moms everywhere. 
 A natural writer and editor, Andrea can be found sharing stories about motherhood, mental health and her passion for reading on her blog Good Girl Gone Redneck. 
 Andrea has been published in several books, including Chicken Soup for The Soul, Lose The Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had kids!), and Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, each piece a testament to the value of writing about life experiences. 
    Andrea Bates says:

    I know what it’s like to have a favorite doctor retire/leave/etc. It can be so upsetting and frustrating. Sounds like you’re already on the road to finding someone new and I hope your transition will be an easy one – for all of the doctors going MIA on you!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks Andrea! I appreciate your kind words.

  5. I have had 2 fantastic audiologist during the last 10 + years, of which I am very lucky. They are part a very large practice and sometimes when I have an emergency with one of my aides I have to see someone else at the practice. I am usually not very happy with these substitutes but I am thankful that I can get my problems fixed promptly. They are usually young and not particularly invested in my hearing needs and I cringe at the thought of having to start over with a new audiologist on a permanent basis.Hopefully not anytime soon.

    The best thing about this practice is that I can usually be seen and have my aides repaired the same day I call. I do understand that most aides can’t be repaired on the spot, but with the newer technology and the receivers in canal (RIC) they can be switched out in minutes, for this I am very thankful.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      I am so glad you have a good situation that works for you. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. edawng – Hi! My name's Elissa, I'm 18, and this is my first blog. I just graduated recently, and... well, now that I have the time I figured, "why not try blogging, it sounds like fun." I have a lot of interests-- several of them are listed on the About page, if you're curious. I recycle through all my hobbies often, so I may be fixated on one hobby for a few months, and then suddenly switch to something completely different. There is a strong possibility this will affect my blog, so if I've been posting stuff about one topic (like music) and all of a sudden I switch to another (like gardening) don't be too shocked. That's just me. :)
    edawng says:

    I haven’t had to deal with a new audiologist yet… But I HAVE had to deal with new eye doctors. I can tell you it’s a bit nerve-wracking suddenly going to see someone else after you’ve been seeing the same optometrist from the time you were six months old until you’re about 14… So I do understand the “switching to a new doctor” thing in general. Hope it goes well for you!

    EDG

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  7. i know the nerve wracking experience of having a doctor switch on you my ent moved hospitals all together so i was scheduled with a new one i do love my new doctor though so that is good but i am hoping to keep my audiologist for a loong time

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      That is encouraging. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. I actually went through this a few years ago. I saw my audiologist and ENT Dr for over 25 years and he had suddenly retired for medical problems himself and was closing his practice. The audiologist was going back home which was another state, so I couldn’t really follow him. So not only did I have to find a new ENT, I had to find a new audiologist. They didn’t even include recommendations in their letter due to an abrupt notice saying i had 30ndsys to let them know where to send my files to. It was awful. Luckily, I have a friend who works at a different ENT office as the office manager and asked her for patient reviews and what patients say. I decided to try them out. And I love it there. I’m truly lucky with my situation that I was thrown into. This new office has helped me get my new hearing aids for free and has helped me figure out my vertigo related issues. Sometimes life throws curveballs, and you just have to go with it. But, I don’t lie, I did have a few meltdowns between offices.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      So glad it worked out for you! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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