Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

Will Your Parent Benefit From A Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aid?

by Stephen Silva

If you have recently noticed that your mom or dad has recently begun having trouble hearing conversations that would have not been a problem a few years ago, it is important to talk to them about your concern. Unfortunately, many senior citizens experience damage to the small hair cells in their ears as a result of aging, illness or injury. Although the problem is common, there are ways to mitigate the damage and in many instances, a basic hearing aid is sufficient to return their normal hearing ability. 

Has Your Parent Gotten A Hearing Test?

It is important to first see your doctor and then see a specialist to confirm the problem. At that point, it is possible to be fitted for an appropriate hearing aide and modern devices are typically very discreet. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for older individuals to believe that hearing problems should be an expected part of aging, and that is simply not true. 

An in-depth hearing test can often pinpoint the cause and extent of the damage in a single visit. 

What Type Of Hearing Aide Should Be Used?

Many older people benefit from the Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, due to their plastic construction and placement within the outer ear. The electronics of the device are safely contained within the case on the outside of the ear. The case, also known as an earmold, allows sound to move to the earmold, from the hearing aid, directly into the ear.

Recent changes in the development of this type of hearing aid is the open-fit model.  They are smaller and rest entirely behind the ear, with just a tiny tube entering the ear canal. If your mom or dad has a problem with earwax or are not as careful as they could be about cleaning it as they could be, this unit might be ideal because it is unlikely to be damaged from the presence of earwax.  

Can Your Mom Or Dad Use And Care For Their Hearing Aid?

Although nobody likes to think about it, there is an excellent possibility that as parents age, they can no longer clean and safely use a more sophisticated or delicate hearing aid. Fortunately, a BTE hearing aid rarely has that problem. It is made of a sturdy plastic, is easy to clean and does not require an enormous amount of maintenance.

If they can remove, replace, clean and change the batteries on the unit or ask for help when those actions are needed, your parent can probably enjoy daily life more fully. 

In conclusion, the use of a convenient and sturdy hearing aid can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life for senior citizens for many years. Because the BTE hearing aid can be used for a mild or severe hearing loss, your parent could use it successfully for many years.

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