Caring for Older Adults with Hearing Loss
Supporting people with hearing aids doesn’t involve just hearing health. The personal support worker, nurse, or family member is responsible for looking after a whole range of needs for the person they assist with their day-to-day living.
Since Hearing Solutions specialty is hearing health, this piece will focus on how to monitor it.
Here’s a quick checklist of the things to think about when caring for someone with hearing loss.
- Keep track of your client’s or loved one’s hearing aids by ensuring they’re working and they’re being worn.
- Familiarize yourself with how to use the ‘hearing loop’ setting (public spaces that have induction loop systems transmit magnetic energy to telecoils found in hearing aids, allowing one to hear sound as if it were coming from the hearing aid).
- Learn the different controls of the hearing aids, how to change the batteries and how to clean the devices.
- Come up with strategies to prevent the loss of hearing aids and for a quick turnaround in replacement if they do get lost.
- Be sure that arrangements have been made for hearing aid maintenance, such as: re-tubing, repairs and battery replacement.
- Add a reminder for weekly hearing aid battery replacement on a medication checklist.
- Make sure the hearing aid needs of each person under care is readily available to any and all caregiving staff.
- Note that other health conditions may affect hearing aid use, such as dementia.
- If hearing aids aren’t working properly and basic troubleshooting doesn’t solve the problem contact an Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist.
- Consult a doctor or hearing health professional to conduct an examination for ear wax or cerumen.
- Be sure that appointments for annual tests are booked.