Hearing aids for seniors are essential, but often too expensive
At age 65, one in three people has hearing loss. It’s the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. However, only 20% of people who could benefit from hearing treatment actually seek help.
Without treatment, hearing loss is associated with a 30 – 40% faster decline in cognitive abilities like memory and concentration. Untreated hearing loss is also linked to increased stress, depression, hospitalization, and fall risk.
But the high cost of hearing aids doesn’t always fit in an older adult’s budget. Medicare doesn’t cover hearing exams, hearing aids, or exams for fitting hearing aids.
Affordable hearing aid options for seniors
We found a New York Times article by Paula Span about less expensive hearing aid alternatives that can help older adults hear better. When just one hearing aid can cost $2,500 or more, it’s no wonder that seniors are turning to more affordable hearing aid options. These alternative devices are called personal sound amplification products (PSAPs).
Hearing amplifiers are much less expensive because they aren’t regulated by the FDA. That means they aren’t required to meet specific technical or performance standards. That also means that some may work better than traditional hearing aids, but others are just a waste of money (like some found in drugstores).
Another benefit of PSAPs is they can be purchased by anyone and don’t require referrals, custom molds, or expert fittings like traditional hearing aids would.
Hearing amplifiers recommended by an audiologist
In the New York Times article, an audiologist from Johns Hopkins tested several hearing aid alternatives.
During his testing, three PSAPs showed impressive results, but one requires a smartphone for use. Here are the two devices that don’t require a smartphone.
- Over-the-ear design
- Uses rechargeable batteries with 18 hour battery life
- Ready to use out of the box — no smartphone required for setup or use
- Optional: Pairs with a smartphone app for further customization
- In-ear design
- Long battery life (10-12 days)
- Ready to use out of the box — no adjustments needed
- Comes with 7 eartips of different sizes and materials for fit and comfort
If signs of hearing loss in your senior are so obvious that their quality of life is affected, it’s time to find solutions that help them hear better. If traditional hearing tests and hearing aids aren’t an option, a personal sound amplifying product is an effective alternative.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Whole Health Insider
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