How To Access Help For Hearing Impaired Seniors
December 12th, 2022
Many people experience hearing loss as they get older, which can be incredibly isolating as it becomes more difficult to communicate with loved ones or when out and about. Signs of hearing loss can come on gradually as you age, and can leave you feeling lonely and frustrated. However, there is plenty of help for hearing impaired seniors available to prevent this from being the case.
Statistics from RNID, the national hearing loss charity, show that around 12 million (1 in 5) adults in the UK are living with hearing loss of greater than 25 decibels. This figure is likely to rise to 14 million people by 2035, in part due to the ageing population.
If you or a loved one are living with age-related hearing loss, there is lots of help for hearing impaired seniors out there. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Are The Signs Of Hearing Loss?
Common signs of hearing loss can arise in later life due to a variety of reasons. They may be due to age-related hearing loss, could be the result of an ear infection, a stroke, or even a degenerative condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Signs of hearing loss may also occur due to changes in the inner ear as you age, potentially impacting the nerve pathways between the ear and the brain.
Signs of hearing loss in later life can include:
- Sounds (particularly speech) becoming muffled
- Difficulty hearing amid background noise – this can be particularly common when you’re out of the house, such as when you’re out shopping or in a restaurant
- Frequently having to ask others to repeat themselves
- Needing to turn up the volume on your TV or phone – and having other people comment on how loud it is
- Struggling to communicate via phone
- Feeling isolated or frustrated as a result of everyday communication becoming more challenging
Age-related hearing loss can usually be addressed with hearing aids and other helpful adaptations – keep reading to find out more.
How To Access Hearing Aids For Elderly People
If you’ve been experiencing signs of hearing loss, you should always speak to your GP, who may decide to refer you to a hearing specialist to help you to get the right hearing aid for your individual needs. If you’re worried about missing anything that the doctor says due to your hearing loss, take someone you trust with you to the appointment.
Hearing aids for elderly people can also be accessed privately, with high street shops such as Specsavers even offering the service. If you choose to go down this route, you’ll have your hearing tested by an audiologist before being recommended the best hearing aid for you.
The hearing aids for elderly people (and anyone else who requires them) fitted today are more discreet and comfortable to wear than ever. Wearing a hearing aid could help you to feel a lot less isolated and communicate more effectively with those around you, allowing you to maintain more of your independence.
Hearing Aids vs Hearing Amplifiers For Elderly People
You might have seen hearing amplifiers for elderly people mentioned as an alternative to hearing aids, but they’re not actually a direct alternative. While hearing amplifiers can be effective, hearing aids for elderly individuals offer a more tailored, long-term solution.
The key difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers for elderly people is:
- Hearing aids are designed to boost specific sound frequencies, and are fitted by a professional after being tailored to your individual needs
- Hearing amplifiers are designed to make everything louder
Because hearing aids are fitted by a professional, they are typically more comfortable to wear than hearing amplifiers. The latter are often used by birdwatchers to amplify birdsong to make a species easier to identify. Hearing amplifiers can be very effective, and using them while you’re going through the process of getting your hearing assessed could help you to communicate a little better until you receive your hearing aids.
What’s The Best Phone For Hard Of Hearing Seniors?
Phones are often a lifeline for elderly people, so if you or a loved one are experiencing signs of hearing loss, researching the best phone for hard of hearing seniors could help you to communicate more easily over the phone. You can adapt your current landline to make it easier for you to hear, while some smartphones are better suited to people who are hard of hearing.
Landline Phones For Hard Of Hearing Seniors
On your existing landline phone, you could simply turn up the volume to help you to hear when it’s ringing, and you could place it on a surface such as a table or sideboard, where it will vibrate and the noise will resound more.
You might also like to buy an amplified phone that’s designed specifically for people who are hard of hearing, and is compatible with your hearing aids. The best phones for hard of hearing seniors are landlines with additional features like extra loud ringers and handset tone control – this feature allows you to change callers’ speech tones so you can pick up what they’re saying more easily.
The Best Smartphones For Hard Of Hearing Seniors
When you’re shopping for a new smartphone, it’s important to take into account the best phone for hard of hearing seniors. Features that make a phone suitable for people who are hard of hearing include hearing aid compatibility, extra loud volume settings, and a large, clear screen, making it easier for people with hearing loss to see when it’s ringing.
Some of the best smartphones for elderly people who are hard of hearing include the Samsung Galaxy S10, which is designed to be compatible with hearing aids and has hearing enhancement features available within its accessibility settings. The LG G8 ThinQ is another good option, as it’s compatible with hearing aids and features an extra loud speaker.
If you’re unsure what you’re looking for when trying to find the best phone for hard of hearing seniors, ask the staff for assistance – they’re there to help you to find the right phone for your needs.
Other Help For Hearing Impaired Seniors To Be Aware Of
Beyond hearing aids and hearing amplifiers for elderly people, there are so many more types of help for hearing impaired seniors to be aware of. From subtitles to assistance dogs, these are just some of the types of help available:
- Subtitles on the TV: many people use these when watching TV, even if they aren’t experiencing hearing loss. Subtitles are available across live TV and catch-up services
- Subtitled film screenings: cinemas offer subtitled screenings for the new films that they show. You can usually check online which screenings will have subtitles available before you book your ticket
- Signed theatre performances: from musicals to comedy shows, an increasing number of theatres are offering signed performances to make their venues more accessible for hard of hearing individuals. Theatres also provide hearing loops for those with hearing aids to tune into
- Hearing loops: also known as audio induction loops, these systems are available in theatres, shops, banks, on public transport, in places of worship, and in other public buildings. People wearing a hearing aid can tune them to what’s known as the Telecoil or ‘T’ setting to cut out background noise and hear other sounds clearer
- Hearing dogs: some people rely on a hearing dog, which essentially becomes their ears, for example alerting them when the phone rings, or when someone is at the front door
- Assistive devices: there are some truly innovative assistive listening devices available today, from amplified phones to alarm clocks that vibrate or light up instead of making a sound, and smoke or carbon monoxide alarms with flashing strobe lights
If you’re unsure where to start with accessing hearing aids for elderly people or other types of help for hearing impaired seniors, speak to your GP who will be able to point you in the right direction.
New Care Homes: Extra Support For Your Loved Ones In Later Life
If an elderly loved one needs extra support in later life, whether it’s due to hearing loss making it unsafe for them to live alone, or a loss of independence as a result of another factor, New Care homes provide residential, nursing, respite, and dementia care for seniors in stylish, modern surroundings.
We have luxurious care homes across Greater Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Merseyside, Cheshire, and Lancashire, with en-suite bedrooms, fine dining facilities, and a packed programme of care home activities to support residents’ physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, whatever their individual needs.
If you’d like to see our wonderful facilities for yourself, please contact us to arrange a visit to one of our care homes – we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.