Between 2017 and 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 16 percent of the population over the age of 15 provided eldercare. Since 33 percent of those over the age of 65 experience hearing loss, there is a good chance if you care for an older loved one, they will wear hearing aids.
Below are four tips to help you provide the level of care your loved one deserves.
While more durable than ever before, modern hearing aids should not get wet. Many models have high ratings when it comes to resistance to dirt and water, meaning they can handle moderate amounts of sweat, rain, snow and humidity. They cannot, however, be worn in the shower, while swimming or accidentally put through a cycle in the washing machine. Like most electronic devices, hearing aids are water resistant, not waterproof.
Hearing aids are exposed to harsh conditions, spending all day in an ear. Their microphones can get clogged and the wax guards can be blocked. When too much dirt, grime and debris build up, hearing aids can stop working.
Cleaning a hearing aid is simple. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe away any debris and brush off the microphone to ensure the ports are cleared.
If any attachment looks to be damaged, contact your audiologist. They can get you replacement parts or walk you through how to repair the problem at home.
Keep Away from Pets
Pets seems to be attracted to anything they shouldn’t be. In the case of dogs and cats, if the hearing aid is put down somewhere they can get to, they will find it. Not only can the damage caused by your furry friends be expensive, the batteries within the hearing aids can be poisonous to them.
When not being worn, hearing aids should be safely housed in their storage case and placed out of reach.
Put Them On
Dexterity and vision issues can impede a loved one’s ability to put on their own hearing aids. Directions for how to put hearing aids on someone else differs depending on the model of device.
This style includes an earmold that is custom-molded to fit into the ear. The earmold can be easily inserted into the ear and then secured behind the ear.
The hearing aid should be hooked over the ear first, sitting comfortably between the skull and the pinna; make sure the wire is down the front of the ear. Hold the wire and dome and gently insert the dome into the ear canal, pushing until it settled into place.
This model sits completely within the ear. Insert the hearing aid into the ear, making sure the battery door faces out.
Hearing aids are designed and programmed to sit in a specific ear. Some contain an indicator; red is right and blue is left. If there are no markings, you can hold up the device and examine the orientation.
To learn more about caring for a loved one or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Arizona Desert ENT Specialists today.