Monday, February 07, 2022

Hearing Aids Report #3 Be Prepared & Not Cheap


Hearing Aids case & batteries

You may find it helpful to read my previous articles about life with hearing aids, updates #1 and #2, plus mask-tying advice for avoiding COVID and loss of expensive hearing aids.

This post will have three topics, which I hope you'll find helpful. The first topic concerns us hearing aid-wearers all.

Be Prepared

As per Murphey's Law, one of the first times I left the house wearing my hearing aids, figuring I wouldn't be gone long, and since I wasn't far from home, I didn't take the kit with spare batteries. Yes, I got the battery model and not the rechargeable. That's what was recommended for Sabbath observers, since a new battery is supposed to last longer than a newly charged hearing aid. 

Obviously you guessed it. Almost half the time I was out, I was forced to listen to low-battery-warning rings in stereo. Since I didn't have my case with me, I couldn't take them out, either. But the good news is that even as they kept nudging that it's time to change the batteries, they still magnified the sounds. I should have at least checked the battery percentage which can be done pretty simply on my phone. Yes, they're connected via Bluetooth. Volume can also be adjusted very easily on my phone.

Hearing Aid Expenses

After purchase of course, which I'll talk about later, I have to buy batteries. They can certainly add up in terms of expense, and as I noted above, they rarely last as long as you were counting on. I asked around and was told that it's cheapest to buy them in large quantities online. Just as I was about to bite the bullet and put in my first order, one of my sons told me that he found a whole bunch of packs in a home he was renovating. The former owner has no need any more... Once we ascertained that they're the same size I need, he passed them on to me. I checked them out with the audiologist, who said that even though their date had passed, they seemed OK. He also told me what to look out for as a sign to throw them out. So now I'm set for the next few months.

Facebook Hearing Aids Support Groups

When I had my third meeting with the professional who tested and fitted my hearing aids he mentioned that I'd probably enjoy being part of hearing aids support groups on Facebook. Some are even specific to the brand Oticon, which I have. I quickly whipped out my phone and opened Facebook. Then I searched "Oticon hearing aids support," and suddenly there were a slew of groups to join. There aren't too many notices per day. Usually I ignore them after a quick read, and sometimes I even chime in with some advice. Hah! Me the expert! But to be totally honest I'm shocked at what American have to pay for hearing aids, thousands of dollars in many cases. People even get second hand hearing aids, which I find pretty sad, frightening and pathetic. 

Here in Israel we're all members of a "sick fund," and once we're recognized as needing hearing aids, they highly subsidize one pair every three and a half years. I paid just a few hundred dollars for the pair. And I have friends who got theirs for nothing from special "funds." They were new, not second hand.


I hope this has been helpful and am looking forward to your responses in the comments. Hoping to hear from you....


Terry Austin said...

Love the blog, Batya! Thanks for sharing.

Batya said...

Terry, thanks.