Simple Hearing Device Makes Big Difference for Dad

When Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I knew he would need all of his senses to help interpret the world around him and balance his changing cognitive abilities. But he has hearing impairment and limited vision (glaucoma plus visual-processing problems associated with Alzheimer’s). Even though there is only so much I can do about the visual issues, I assumed hearing aids would solve his auditory problems. I was wrong. The good news is that we eventually discovered a surprisingly simple …

How to Make the Holidays More Hearing-Friendly

I love the five weeks that begin with Thanksgiving and end with New Year’s, but a part of me also thinks, “Bah, humbug.” That’s the part that knows I’ll struggle to follow conversations at family dinners, holiday parties, concerts and pageants. It’s also the part of me that will want to leave early, or maybe even just stay home. If you feel the same way, here are a few tips and strategies for making the holidays more hearing-friendly. Some of them …

Study: Hearing Aids May Help Protect Brain Health

For several years, studies have linked hearing loss and dementia, but no major study has addressed the big question: Could using hearing aids reduce the risk of cognitive decline? Now an important new French study finds that older adults who use hearing aids experience the same rate of cognitive decline as their peers with normal hearing. In other words, while hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline, hearing aids can slow that from happening, researchers say. The study, published …

Report: Buying Hearing Aids Should Be Easier, Cheaper

A new federal advisory report wants to make buying a hearing aid as easy and inexpensive as buying prescription eyeglasses, calling for changes to “dramatically increase competition and increase new choices for millions of Americans” experiencing hearing loss. Nearly 30 million Americans have age-related hearing loss, the report notes, but only “a small fraction” are getting help for the condition “and that rate is even smaller among low income and racial and ethnic minorities.” The report from the President’s Commission …

Invisible Hearing Aids’ Misguided Message

The ads call them “invisible hearing aids,” describing them as “discreet,” “well-hidden” and “virtually undetectable.” Perhaps that sounds appealing, but it also sends an unintended and damaging message: Hearing aids are shameful and something to be hidden. You might as well wear a bag over your head. Get discounts on hearing aids and more with your AARP Member Advantage » The ads also reinforce the notion that wearing hearing aids trumpets the fact that you’re old. Which is silly, as …

The Persistent Stigma of Hearing Loss—Even 25 Years After ADA

Thinking and reading about the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 25 years ago this week, has been a surprising reminder of how far we have come in a relatively short span. Twenty-five years — July 26, 1990. For me, that’s an era just past — my children were already school age, my career was established. For many of us in the AARP generation, 50 and older, 25 years ago was recent history. So it’s shocking to be reminded …