The number of patients seeking an listening assistance is steadily increasing, and the average age of the population is getting younger. Although the new trends of hearing aid devices connected to smartphones perfectly illustrate this trend of the market, the lengthening of the life and its quality also push a clientele of old people, see very old, to come in the auditory centers to seek answers to their troubles. Who are they and what auditory solutions would suit them best?
EARLIER HEARING IMPAIRED THAN SENIORS, WITH MORE SEVERE DISORDERS
Even if it is not necessary to generalize, because each patient has his own troubles, his own eyes on it and specific needs to be taken into account, patients at the top of the age pyramid often have severe losses, see a symmetrically degraded hearing both ears.
Frequently, they have not been paired before. Accompanied sometimes by a family member, often a child who takes care of the file and follow-up, he carries out an auditory assessment that shows significant losses in the treble and sometimes far enough in the lower frequency spectrum. Roughly speaking, these are most often cases of marked presbycusis due to aging of hearing abilities.
Older than 80 years old , they have not always complained because they often live alone. It is non-regular contact with a noisy and loud environment, usually the rest of the family, that makes people aware of the debilitating loss of hearing ability.
The image of Epinal armchair 2m of a TV at maximum volume and phone handset still tightly sealed to the ear, despite the speaker, is the most perfect illustration, though sometimes a little caricatural.
WHICH TYPES OF Hearing DEVICES ARE BEST FOR OLDER PEOPLE?
When you are over 80, it is very common for other disorders, other than hearing, to be part of the daily picture. Rheumatic pain, with various forms of arthritis, a loss of sensitivity in the fingers, a decrease in visual abilities, difficulties to move, sometimes more or less disabling chronic diseases, recurrent fatigue, memory loss etc …
To choose the hearing aid suitable for a senior , it is imperative to take into account these other disorders, as well as his lifestyle.
A POWERFUL AND RELIABLE BTE HEARING AIDS, IN 13 OR 675 BATTERY, FOR TRULY DEEP LOSSES
As a general rule, it is better to leave on powerful hearing aids, and of good size because easier to handle.
(BTE)Behind the ear hearing aid with big rocker switch easily operable (the button to change program) facilitate the grip and are reassuring.
In the same way, always in a worry of prehension, it is better not to choose model with small pile, like the 10 or the 312, but to opt the models of devices with pile 13 or 675, because they are simpler to introduce into the hull of the prosthesis and they provide a longer life.
Thus you will limit unwanted battery changes and the risk of finding a flat device.
FOR MODERATE TO SEVERE LOSSES, A REFILLABLE RIC REMOTE DEVICES
Except in case of impossibility of grip, or really deep losses, the best option is still to go on the new rechargeable hearing aids without battery.
These are RIC contour prostheses , smaller than BTEs, that work with lithium-ion batteries built into the shell, and which charge on chargers.
It’s very easy to use because you just have to put the prostheses on the charger. You can leave the charger on the bedside table to put your prostheses in the evening.
In the morning, the devices are charged for a full day. This creates a ritual of easy use to set up and damn effective.
FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED DEANS, OPT FOR A BRIGHT COLOR SHELL
You can choose a hull in bright color, which will also play on a visual stimulus that is very practical when you wake up. This is especially true for the visually impaired, for whom it will be necessary to avoid the too discreet colors flesh type to avoid misplacing his hearing aids. In case of memory loss too, a hull visible and not too small is easier to live in many environments.
WHAT ABOUT ACCESSORIES AND BLUETOOTH FOR THE OLDER ONES?
This is a very interesting question, one that is important to the hearing care professional and the needs of the hearing impaired. For the more alert, technologically adapted and already equipped, this can be of great help since the calls arrive directly in the ear via Bluetooth. It’s also easy to configure. The accessories for the television bring a great comfort of listening also.
On the other hand, for isolated elderly people , it is often better to stick to the immediate, reliable, resistant and effective. Multiplying accessories can increase the sources of boredom, especially for the family, or to buy for nothing. To be discussed on a case by case basis.