Hearing Help for Older Adults
Age-related hearing loss can feel alienating and stigmatizing, but the truth is it is extremely common. In fact, 50% of Americans older than 75 have disabling hearing loss. The good news is, there is help for those who need hearing assistance!
If you suspect you or a loved one has age-related hearing loss, your next step is to make an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing test.
What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist, sometimes known as a clinical doctor of audiology, is someone who has received a Doctorate in Audiology and is trained to diagnose, manage and treat hearing problems.
The audiologist will be able to advise on the most helpful medical treatment and/or hearing assistance device for your loved one.
Hearing Assistance Devices & Technology
A plethora of hearing devices and help is available for those in need. Several new technologies have been introduced in the last decade and more are on the horizon. Available hearing assistance devices include:
- Hearing aids (including those with rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth capabilities)
- Amplified telephones
- Caption telephones
- Signaling devices for the phone and doorbell
- Personal listening devices
- TV listening devices
Your loved one may be in denial about experiencing hearing loss or resistant to using one or more of these devices. It’s important to be empathetic – hearing loss is hard! An audiologist can help determine which devices work best for your loved one and even provide demo devices for your loved one to use on a trial basis.
More Hearing Assistance Resources
Wisconsin residents with hearing loss may qualify for a Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) voucher to purchase telephone-related assistive equipment.
HEAR WI is a nonprofit that helps people with hearing loss by providing high-quality hearing evaluations, hearing aid fittings, and adaptive technology. They offer many products that qualify for the TEPP program.