Hearing aids are among the necessities of old age. Hearing loss is a natural process of ageing that usually occurs at age 60. However, lifestyle factors can cause hearing damage to a person as early as 18 years of age. Hearing impairment ranks the second most commonly experienced health condition next to back pain in Australia. Roughly 100,000 Australians purchase hearing devices annually. Selecting the best hearing devices can be among your concerns if you are caring for an elderly relative.
Cost of Hearing Aids in Australia
The cost of hearing aids in Australia varies depending on factors like size, quality of sound, and performance in listening environments. It can start at $1,000 AUD to as high as $15,000 AUD or more. At least you can set aside a specific budget to work on by having an idea of its pricing.
Different Types of Hearing Aids
There are several types of hearing aids available that you can get for your elderly family member. You may want to consider looking into these different kinds:
- Some hearing devices are worn in the canal (ITC). For mild to moderate hearing impairment. Some are worn in the ear (ITE) or completely in the canal (CIC). The latter is the smallest type.
- Those with profound hearing loss can opt for body-worn hearing devices. The electronics are placed in a pocket and a fine cable connects it to the earpiece.
- Profoundly-deaf people can undergo cochlear and auditory brainstem implants.
- Those who cannot use traditional hearing devices can try the bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA).
- An assistive listening device (ALD) can address limited hearing impairments. These include telephone typewriters, TV headphones, or vibrating alarm clocks.
- Hearing devices worn behind the ear (BTE) are the most common ones. These are very easy to maintain and are suitable for all levels of hearing impairment
You can also make life easier for an elder parent or relative suffering from hearing impairment. You can avail hearing devices with extra useful features like the ones below.
- Remote control to avoid difficulty managing the controls found on the hearing aids
- Directional microphones for background noise reduction
- Telecoils for easier hearing when using the telephone
- Other alternative listening devices such as the ones mentioned above
Government Subsidies for Hearing Aids
What a lot of senior Aussies don’t know is that many of them are eligible for free hearing aids. You can get them through the Office of Hearing Services. This government agency can provide good quality, mid-level hearing devices. You may still get hearing devices with advanced technology features at a subsidized rate. Feel free to contact Australian Hearing to discuss the hearing device needs of your elderly family member. You can also discuss eligibility with their representative.
Private health fund claims for hearing aids are also available. For elderly relatives with insurance coverage, check if it includes extra cover for hearing devices.
Contact Your Elderly Relative’s Doctor for Hearing Aids Advice
It is important to meet with the elder’s doctor first, prior to getting hearing devices for them. This way, you can get firsthand information about the level of hearing impairment. The doctor will also suggest the appropriate hearing aids for the senior.