The number one cause of hearing loss is old age. In fact, according to one study, “It is estimated that 70% to 90% of elderly residents in long-term care facilities have some degree of hearing impairment.”
Many people with hearing loss, including those living in long-term care facilities, wear hearing aids to communicate with family, friends and staff. Unfortunately, another study reveals, “73% of informants found that many residents need help with their hearing aids. Only one-tenth report that they know enough about the residents’ hearing aids.”
If you have a loved one who lives in a long-term care home and wears hearing aids, we provide tips to help you support them below.
Label Their Devices
It’s important for your loved one and their caretakers to keep track of their hearing aids. To help them do this, you can label them with their name or initials using a permanent marker. This way, if they’re accidentally picked up during a bedsheet change or room cleaning, they can easily be returned to the right person.
Establish a Nighttime Routine
At the end of each day, your loved one’s hearing aids should be cleaned. To do this, make sure they’re wiped down with a soft, dry, clean cloth and any stubborn debris is removed with a wax pick/wire loop. You can show the staff how to perform this cleaning.
In addition, they should be stored in their case in a convenient location overnight. This is especially important if the hearing aids are rechargeable and need to be docked so that they work the next day.
Purchase a Hearing Aid Lanyard
Hearing aid lanyards clip your loved one’s hearing aids to their clothes. This way, if they fall out, they won’t hit the floor and get lost or stepped on.
Ensure Proper Maintenance
You should take your loved one’s hearing aids to their audiologist at Oregon Ear, Nose & Throat Center every six months for a clean and check. During these appointments, the audiologist will clean the devices deeply and ensure they’re working properly.
Communicate with Staff
Unfortunately, you probably can’t be there every day to ensure your loved one’s devices are being cared for properly. Be sure to communicate with staff at Northridge Senior Living about their needs so that someone there known what needs to be done to ensure the devices are in good working order.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Oregon Ear, Nose & Throat Center today.