Volume 11, Issue 1
Editor- Trish Kaminski
Notes from the Editor
May is ‘Better Hearing Month’. With that being said, attached you will find a ‘Free Hearing Check Coupon’ that we are hoping you will pass along to a friend or a family member who is in need of a hearing check. Let’s see if we can help those we care about hear better! It’s free, painless and fun!
I just wanted to take a moment to tell all of you just how incredible you are. I gave you such short notice regarding our gift drive for Christmas and so many of you came through with so much generosity. I was completely overwhelmed. There was so much to deliver that I couldn’t get it all in my car in one trip! Our office is truly blessed with THE most amazing patients ever! From the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU! And yes, we are planning on doing it again this year so start shopping!
Recently, several articles on what not to say to hard of hearing/deaf people have been floating on Facebook. I understand the writer’s exasperations. Although the things being said are not meant to be hurtful – I still have to grab my chin to keep my jaw from dropping to the floor.
The inane remarks usually just reveal a profound ignorance about how hard of hearing or deaf people communicate. This is not their issue; they are asking questions out of curiosity. Hey, you never know unless you ask, right?
So, hearing people, here’s something to learn when a person tells you they are deaf or hard of hearing, you really don’t want to say:
“Oh, you’d never know to look at you!”
(Can’t see that being a compliment at all)
“And yet you speak so well!”
“How do you drive a car?”
(You’re kidding me, right?)
“Can you read?”
“Do you use Braille”
(Oh, please, kill me now!)
More forgivable, although irritating to people with hearing loss who use spoken language and are, like, actually speaking with this person, “Do you do, you know, the signing thing?” Hearing people find sign language beautiful and fascinating – which it is – but they extend the idealistic admiration to the signers themselves simply for being deaf (hearing people aren’t quite so starry-eyed about us oral folk with hearing loss). This placing-on-a-pedestal is a source of annoyance to people with limitations. We like to earn our hero status through something we have actually accomplished other than for something we have no control over.
The folks that I know that have a hearing loss don’t get their knickers in a bunch when talking about their loss. For the most part, they simply ask others to repeat themselves and are usually met with the cursory “I’m sorry”.
Given the greater public awareness of hearing loss issues today, it is surprising that we get those crazy, occasionally derogatory comments. But the best tactic is to answer them as politely as possible, using the opportunity to advocate. Hearing loss activists like me just love the opportunity to nail the asker’s feet to the floor and tell them everything we know about hearing loss and communication, ad nauseam.
Our possible crabbiness should not, however, cause hearing people to pussy-foot around those with a hearing loss for fear of giving offense. If you notice the hearing aids or cochlear implants – even though most pretend not to notice these things, face your phobias face on! Say something….. ANYTHING – but make sure it’s positive (remember what Thumper said, “if you can’t say sumpthin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”) or as minimally stupid as possible. Yes, some hard of hearing people do try to hide their hearing loss and may not want you to bring it up. Others, shall we say, are a tad over-sensitive, jumping down your throat at the slightest communications infraction. But be brave, give it a go!
Anything that someone asks you to repeat – REPEAT IT!
Nice things you could and should say to people with hearing loss
“Is there anything I can do, right now, to improve communication between us?”
“Am I speaking clearly enough?”
“You are awesome. Because of you, I am a better communicator with everyone!”
“I like how you look others in the eye”
“I like how you don’t apologize for your hearing loss.”
This is the stuff that those with a hearing loss, are deaf, or wear hearings aids love to hear once in a while just to reassure everyone that we are treating others properly!
The Hearing Review, August, 2015
Don’t forget that a ‘Dry & Store’ would be a great gift! It will help extend the life of your hearing instruments
April 30 – Senior Fair. 9am-3pm at the Century Center in South Bend. Bring a friend and stop by our booth. There will be live entertainment, food vendors and educational information for you. It’s fun and it’s all free!
June 21, 22 & 23– Educational Seminar and Special Promotion. Cash off savings on hearing aid purchases. Please watch for the direct mail piece… or call to reserve space for a consultation and demonstration.
August 29 – 10 year anniversary of Charles A. Reger & Associates, Inc. We are planning a patient appreciation day. If you have any thoughts or suggestions – please let us know. An open house? Give us your input to make this a memorable event! Final plans will be announced in our next newsletter.
1) The age of your current hearing aids. Most hearing aids last five to seven years. Manufacturers usually stop making parts for hearing aids after about five years, so older hearing aids have to be repaired at an “all make” repair facility, sometimes with used parts. The older the hearing aid, the less likely it’s performing as well as it should. Although I recently was able to help a patient get 12-year-old devices to work again, I could not guarantee the hearing aid would still be working a month later. However, be wary of hearing aid dispensers who say your current hearing aid is too broken or old to repair. (They may only profit from sales of new hearing aids). Unless it’s more than 5 years old, any hearing aid should be repairable by the original manufacturer.
2) A change in health or dexterity. If you are unable to hold or change the battery you may want to consider a device with a rechargeable battery. Or if you are more forgetful than you used to be, you may want to consider a hearing aid that intuitively adjusts to your environment so you don’t have to remember which programming button to push. If you use an oxygen pump you should consider a custom in-the-ear model to prevent space conflicts with the oxygen tubing that goes over your ears. Also, the noise from an oxygen pump may necessitate a hearing aid with improved noise-reduction capabilities.
3) Your hearing has worsened. Just as it took some time to recognize that you had a hearing loss to begin with, it takes some time to realize that your hearing may have changed/gotten worse. Sometimes it could just take a trip to see your Audiologist and have them adjust the volume on your hearing aids.
4) A new job or new office. A change of jobs or even your office may present you with some major changes in the environment to adjust to. This, again, may just require a trip to your Audiologist to adjust the programming of your hearing aids.
5) Different hobbies or lifestyle. Say you decide that you want to start a new hobby of woodworking. This is going to require some adjustments to your hearing aids or require an upgrade to some new technology.
6) A boost in finances. Perhaps due to limited finances you had to lean on the lower end of technology and do without some wonderful features that would have improved your hearing abilities. Now you can afford to go for the upper end technology and enjoy all of the myriad of benefits.
7) You want to hear “your best” instead of just “better”. Most people get new hearing aids every four to five years. Although the hearing aids themselves could last longer than that, technology significantly jumps about every two-four years.
8) A new attitude about hearing aids. Many people are reluctant about getting their first hearing aids. This is mostly due to their denials that they need them but also the vanity factor of having others seeing the hearing aids. When the time comes to get their second pair of hearing aids – attitudes have usually changed dramatically and the focus goes to the technology and accessories that can help them hear so much better.
Hearing Health, Fall 2013
We keep statistics around here (I call them office metrics) and I am quite proud of the fact that the majority of our new patients come from our existing patients recommending our practice to a friend or family member. We consider such recommending patients our ‘Hearing Ambassadors’.
Imagine, just for a moment, how anyone chooses a hearing care provider. You could ask the advice of your personal physician (i.e. not a bad idea at all), OR you could select someone from a direct mail piece you received OR a newspaper ad seen OR a TV spot you saw OR from an internet website that you visited. I can tell you all of these avenues have value and this practice has invested in all of these marketing tools. But, in my own personal life, it’s the recommendation from a trusted friend that seems to hit home with me – gets me ‘off the fence’ – and picking up the phone to make an appointment. WHY?… I believe it’s the trust factor.
So, if you are so inclined to be a ‘Hearing Ambassador’, please recommend a friend or family member to our office. You may rest assured that they will receive the highest quality care with that personal touch that has become the hallmark of Charles A. Reger & Associates, Inc. We are deeply moved that so very many of you think so highly of us that it further motivates us to find more ways to make us the very best hearing health care practice in our market. Thank you again ‘Hearing Ambassadors’!
Entitles the holder to a free hearing check
During the Month of May, 2016
Charles A. Reger and Associates, Inc.
professional hearing solutions
425 Park Place Circle, Suite 200
Mishawaka, IN 46545
TOLL FREE (888) 505-7766
Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8AM – 5P