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Stay in the Conversation this Holiday Season with Hearing Aids!

Stay in the Conversation this Holiday Season with Hearing Aids!

The holidays are here! You can feel the spirit in the air! We go out and shop for the holiday feast, buying ham, turkey or our favourite main dish with the perfect trimmings to go along with it. Then we gather the decorations and deck the halls and the rooms. We plan for the day, the dinner guests and the seating. What time should we eat? What time to call grandma? What time to relax, to chatter and laugh? And when are we planning on playing that classic holiday movie we watch every year?

We plan it all out, then await that day with anticipation of the sheer pleasure of getting the family together!

What happens, though, if you or a family member is hearing impaired? A large gathering around the dinner table is a ton of fun, but it's not quite as much fun for someone with hearing loss. And what about that phone or video call with grandma? Oftentimes, many words in a phone or video conversation can be lost, especially when a lot of background noise is present.

What can be done?

Phonak Paradise hearing aids have Bluetooth connectivity. You can stream the audio for that holiday movie right to your hearing aids, so you won't miss a line. But that's not all. When you're on the phone with grandma, whether you chat via phone or video, whether you chat one-on-one or via speaker, you'll have a better connection than anyone else in the house. And, if you discover that Uncle Ralph put a holiday video up on Facebook that everyone hasto watch, you can easily hear it through your hearing aids. (Or you can easily turn it off, as well!)

But, what about the main event? What about dinner and the fun, crazy, chaotic conversation that usually runs around the table? RogerDirect offers the ability to stream a Roger microphone directly into your hearing aids, without the need to wear an FM system dongle. You can place the Roger mic in the middle of the table and capture the entire conversation.

Your social ties with friends and family are vital to yours and your loved ones' well-being. Phonak makes it easy to stay connected. Life is on!

A Moment of Silence for Those Who Served

A Moment of Silence for Those Who Served

We would like to ask for a moment of silence. This may seem odd, coming from hearing healthcare professionals, but the silence we ask for as we bow our heads is a measure of respect for those who have served Canada and have paid the ultimate price in defence of our country. We must never forget the dedication and the honour of our fallen soldiers.

Why is this important? In showing our respect to those who have fallen, we also show our respect and appreciation to those soldiers who are still with us, whether they be new recruits, seasoned Regular Force personnel or veterans enjoying some well-deserved R&R away from those gruelling military drills. We let them know that we will never forget them, no matter what. And we show them how deeply we appreciate the fact that they risk their lives for our freedoms.

While taking a moment of respectful silence for those who have fallen, we would also like to highlight the services available for veterans. Veterans Affairs Canada offers a wide range of services to vets and their spouses, enabling them to live independently for as long as possible. Those services can include independent living services such as food delivery, housekeeping and groundskeeping services, home adaptations and other financial assistance.

Military service can often be extremely noisy, and it's not unheard-of for vets to experience some form of noise-induced hearing loss, in one or both ears. And included in that financial assistance are health services and hearing aids.

If you feel like you are missing parts of conversations or are having a harder time following what is being said, you may be able to qualify for assistance towards a hearing test and being fitted for hearing aids. In order to find out if you qualify, you may be able to contact a Professional Command Legion Service Officer. (LINK: https://www.legion.ca/support-for-veterans/contact-a-service-officer)

We ask for silence and bow our heads to honour the fallen, but we want those who are still with us to enjoy life to the fullest, in all of its connecting, babbling, conversational glory.

A Thank You Letter from A Mom with Hard of Hearing Children

A Thank You Letter from A Mom with Hard of Hearing Children

Dealing with hearing loss is an incredible challenge for any adult, from the need to be properly fitted with hearing aids, to struggling with difficult social situations, especially around a lot of background noise, to the care and maintenance of the hearing aids themselves. And our loved ones struggle, as well. Remembering to enunciate the soft consonants of speech and being patient when repeating words several times is vital to a healthy relationship.

These challenges became magnified when my daughter was diagnosed with hearing loss. Not only did I have to adjust to the new experience of handling hearing aids, ear molds and batteries, I had to help her learn and grow in this new, difficult situation.

Everyone in my life, from my spouse to my parents and in-laws, to my child's teachers, to my friends, to, well, everyone! You have all stepped up to the plate and continually hit home runs!

Rambunctious, curious, fun-loving children don't always keep track of their hearing aids. They're too busy being kids! I've lost count of how many times we've had to search the car, the house, the booth at a restaurant, and even rummage through the garbage, in search of a lost hearing aid.

When it comes to speaking clearly, enunciating properly, or repeating your words patiently, you are the stars that light up my daughter's life! When I see her face light up as she grasps a difficult concept, my heart swells with joy. I also appreciate your dedication in making good use of the FM system to ensure she understands you in the car, the classroom, a noisy restaurant, anywhere!

Speaking of FM systems and other unfamiliar hearing aid technology, thank you very much for learning how it all works together, so you can help my daughter hear as well as she can.

This year, as we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, we will give thanks to the bountiful harvest, our own little cornucopia of steaming plates covering the table. I will also give thanks for the good fortune of having such loving family and friends, dedicated teachers, audiologists and speech therapists, and an awesome world that accepts my daughter for who she is: a curious, energetic and bright-eyed little girl.

Well-Hearing is Well-Being

Well-Hearing is Well-Being

Autumn presents us with a tapestry of rusty oranges, bright reds and mellow yellows. Such a kaleidoscopic array of colors is breathtaking, to say the least! But, as September stretches onward, the temperatures begin to plummet. The days grow colder, and we begin to spend more time indoors.

Autumn may begin to feel like a time of endings: The end of outdoor fun. The end of fresh air, sunlight and warm summer breezes. The end of short sleeves, sneakers and baseball caps. The end of frolicking and running and fun. 

But fall is also a time of new beginnings. School starts up again. Classmates rediscover old friendships, and members of the faculty renew working relationships with their colleagues. The time spent at the dinner table stretches beyond dinner. We break out the board games or shuffle a deck of cards for some good, old family fun. We trade high-fives in the yard for a cool roll of the dice in Monopoly or a winning hand at rummy.

The one thing we don't trade away, though, is the joy of being together. That pleasure of a fun bit of competition and social interaction is very important. It's the glue that keeps us connected to our family and, even, our world.

We are social creatures. Our need to socialize with one-another is so ingrained and so important that, if our ability to socialize becomes diminished in any way, such as with hearing loss, we may become lonely, socially isolated, and even clinically depressed.

Not only that, but the lack of social engagement can lead to cognitive decline and cognitive decline. The reason why is very simple: As complex as they are, our brains are very similar to any other muscle in our bodies. The more we exercise them, the stronger they become. The lack of social engagement can cause our brains to become lethargic, making them weaker. And that weakness most often takes the form of cognitive decline.

The good news is that the negative effects of untreated hearing loss, the social isolation and the risk of cognitive decline, are easily wiped away by wearing hearing aids. With newly fitted hearing aids, this time of new beginnings can take on a whole new meaning as were discover our vital social connections.

5 tips for communicating with those with hearing loss

5 tips for communicating with those with hearing loss

Successful communication takes two people- the listener andthe speaker. And if you’re communicating with someone with hearing loss, communicating clearly can seem more difficult. 

However, there are a few things you can do to help communicate so they can hear you more clearly.

Here are 5 tips for communicating with those with hearing loss…

  1. Face them. Face the hearing-impaired persondirectly and try to be on the same level as them. Communicate where there is good light shiningon your face and not in their eyes so they cannot read your lips.
  2. Speak clearly but naturally. It’s ok to speak clearly, slowly and enunciate your words, but remember to try to speak naturally without shouting or exaggerating too much. Shouting distorts the sounds and can actually make hearing harder.
  3. Keep it concise. Try not to talk too fast or in sentences or paragraphs that are too long. Slow down a little and pause to give them a chance to understand what you’re saying and acknowledge you.
  4. Write down the important information. Whenever you can, write down important pieces of informationyou are trying to relay such as directions, assignments, meeting times, etc. This will help confirm that they understand their task or commitment.
  5. Read their body language. As you’re speaking, pay attention to the body language of the person you’re speaking to. If they look confused or puzzled, they may misunderstand or not hear what you’re saying. It’s ok to ask them if they understand.

Hearing aids can certainly benefit the listener, however following

these tips as the speaker will help the person with hearing loss hear you more clearly.

Do you suspect that a loved one or a friend is suffering from hearing loss? Or have you noticed yourself having a hard time hearing others clearly in conversations?

Check out our FREE online hearing eScreenerto get an idea of how good your hearing actually is.

(Please note: this test is not designed to replace a professional hearing exam)

Making Conversation Easier for People with Hearing Loss

Making Conversation Easier for People with Hearing Loss

December can be loud—holiday music playing in stores, parties in homes and offices, lots of hustle and bustle. All of that background noise can make the season especially challenging for people with hearing loss.