Don’t Get Trapped in A Hearing Aid Only Approach

Today I share the fourth article in a series I am writing for Ida Institute on person-centered care. The first article was about what person-centered care means to me — the hearing loss patient. The second article discussed why partnering with your patient is so important. The third article described how to make your audiologist office hearing loss friendly. This fourth article talks about how important creativity is to successfully implementing person-centered care. I look forward to sharing the final article with you soon. 

Below find an excerpt from the fourth article. To read the full article, click here

I love my hearing aids and wear them all the time. They help me hear better at home and at work, with friends, family and colleagues. But there are certain situations where hearing aids alone are not enough. Additional assistance is needed. Like when I am at the movies and use caption readers to augment the sound or attend the theater and enjoy a hearing loop. Other activities — going to a loud restaurant, talking on the phone or watching TV — are almost always a challenge, even with my hearing aids tuned in and turned up.

In these situations, assistive listening devices can be a big help, but when I ask my audiologists about them, I rarely get much information. They might suggest using a different program on my hearing aids, or adjusting the volume, but rarely provide more creative solutions. Most of the innovations I use today I learned from other people with hearing loss or from experimenting with work-arounds on my own. This shouldn’t be the case.

People with hearing loss come to their audiologist looking for answers that work for their specific hearing challenges. Don’t get trapped in a hearing aid only approach. Linking aids to other assistive listening devices will give your clients greater access in a wider variety of situations, an important goal of person-centered cared.

Click here to read the full article on Ida Institute and get your creative juices flowing.

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16 thoughts on “Don’t Get Trapped in A Hearing Aid Only Approach

  1. great article (as always), Shari!
    I am forwarding this my audiologists (yes..plural).
    I hope that they will derive relevant knowledge and empathy from what you wrote.

  2. Thank you Sheri for this important blog post. This is my biggest criticism of my profession of audiology, that is, too often audiologists function as hearing aid fitters rather than solution providers. Yes, in some cases a well fit hearing aid with good directional microphones may meet the needs of some patients. But many need additional support from the use of wireless microphones, alerting devices, and counseling on good communication strategies.

  3. This is exactly why I’m not investing thousands of dollars for hearing aids. I have been tested a few times, and was frustrated with the testing. They seat you in a quiet room with no distractions or background noise, and adjust this beeping tone until you can no longer hear the beep. Then they try to sell you hearing aids…

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Hi Shari–The Ida Institute ‘face’ is quite pale to read. I wonder why Web design cannot stay with BLACK TYPE. Many texts these days are gray or light blue, making them difficult to read, and/or SMALL. There’s an awful lot of clicking involved in getting to your article/ideas. I will now read your always-good ideas. Thanks for writing/posting. -M.

  5. Reblogged this on Talking Hearing Loss and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more. Hearing aid users and dispensers (audiologists) need to do away with this rationale that it’s only ever all about the hearing aid. I am able to do so many things now as a profoundly deaf adult that are the result of not only my hearing aid and cochlear implant but some cleverly selected assistive listening devices.

  6. Hi Shari

    Wouldn’t it be great if audiologists too had a hearing loss and used hearing aids.

    Then they may view problems from a different perspective.


  7. It’s good to know more about hearing aids and hearing loss. I like how you said that you love the ones you use, but sometimes they’re not enough. My mom is losing her hearing, so I’ll make sure that knows all of her options.

  8. Great article. I use ustream devices to link my hearing aids with TV, my phone and other devices. Absolutely brilliant. I am sure if my hearing aids had Bluetooth capacity then would not need to use an external streamer but it works well for now. Bit of a nuisance having them around my neck but no matter they are fabulous and well worth the money. My excellent Audiologist has assisted me big time to get them and tuned them in to my hearing aids.

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