HEARING CARE Q & A
QUESTION: WHY DO YOU ENCOURAGE US TO BRING A COMPANION? ANSWER: THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS THAT EVERYONE BENEFITS, INCLUDING YOUR AUDIOLOGIST.
LET’S UNPACK SOME OF THE REASONS FOR THIS:
- Hearing loss affects your companion, too Once someone suspects they have hearing issues, they’ll wait, on average, seven years before getting a hearing evaluation. One reason is they don’t think it affects the people around them. But a study by The National Council on Aging had surprising findings: After study participants with hearing loss began using hearing aids, their family members reported better relationships at home, better feelings of self-worth, better relationships with children or grandchildren, and even better physical health. Inviting a loved one shows you recognize that it affects them. It also shows you respect their insight, thoughts, and feelings about this important step you’re taking.
- Your companion provides a complementary perspective Whether it’s a spouse, a good friend, or a niece, your companion spends a lot of time with you, and their perspective will be a valuable complement to yours. They definitely notice things you don’t, such as how often and how much you turn up the TV. Your companion will also have their own questions based on their experiences with you, which can inform the discussion in ways you’d never have considered otherwise.
- Your companion learns more about you No matter how close you and your companion are, you probably haven’t discussed in detail how your hearing loss affects you. Sitting in the appointment with you provides them an intimate window into your world. Also, the audiologist can provide your companion a simulation of hearing loss, helping them understand better what you experience day to day.
- Your companion is an extra set of ears A typical new-patient appointment lasts 60–90 minutes — that’s a lot of information! We explain how hearing works, your specific type of hearing loss, and the best options for moving forward. If we decide together that hearing technology is the best solution, we’ll discuss different styles of hearing devices as well as accessories. Having a companion with you means you can focus on what’s being said while they take notes. Alternatively, you can both take notes and compare them afterward; you’re each sure to jot down things the other didn’t.
- Your technology can be tailored to the voice you hear the most If we decide technology is the best solution, you can bring whoever you’re around the most — a sibling, spouse, a child — to the fitting appointment so we can optimize the technology for their voice.
- Your companion can be involved in financial considerations Many people want to consult their significant other about major medical decisions. If your significant other is in the office with you, they can be a part of the conversation from the start and ask their questions directly.
- Your companion helps us, too For us to truly understand your situation and, therefore, truly be of optimal benefit, we depend on the perspective of someone close to you. They know where you thrive, where you struggle, what noises you don’t even realize you’re missing, and how your hearing loss affects others in your life who may not have the heart to tell you how its affecting them. Your input and their input are two sides of one coin, and each is crucial to our understanding of your listening lifestyle.