We talk a lot about the newest and “bestest” hearing aids. The smallest, smartest, strongest hearing aids. They can connect to the iPhone, stream phone calls, and actively learn your listening habits. What we don’t talk about a lot are the most simple hearing aids. Ever heard of KISS? That stands for Keep It Simple Stupid…and I bet we all could stand some of that advice every once in a while.
Which hearing aids are appropriate for people with physical or mental challenges? Or for any patient who is not interested in “bells and whistles”? Many of my patients don’t need the smallest, smartest, or newest hearing aids, they are looking for simple hearing aids. I have patients with Parkinson’s, arthritis, dementia, deformed ears and disabled hands. I ask lots of questions up front to determine the best solution for my patient, and family is often times a huge help here in explaining their loved one’s specific challenges. It is not uncommon to get a discreet call ahead of an appointment time to let me know that their mother/father/sister will be in shortly, and that they have dementia. In all cases, I address information and questions directly to my patient as much as possible, to make sure that they feel respected and included in the whole process. Patients’ needs vary widely, but simple hearing aids can be a solution for many of them.