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Hi all - we won't know diagnosis and needs until mom sees the hearing doctor(s) but right now she is nearly deaf in one ear and major major hearing loss in the other.


We are financially savings poor. I have a list of charitable organizations to call. Her insurance will pay $500. Mom is nearly 89. Her income is always just too high for Medicaid but I can check if they would pay for something. Also possibly VA as a last resort.


My question is, after reading so much here about $6000 hearing aids getting lost or ultimately rejected, broken, replaced, what is a reasonable price point for this first purchase? We cant afford to throw the money away.


Also, do you consider an online subscription to consumer reports worth it to get comparisons and ratings on hearing aids? I tried researching online today and consumer reports would not release their data without a membership fee.


Thank you!!


PS: the shouting for social distancing is causing me bronchitis and triggering tinnitis. I'm an asthmatic, recovering still Covid positive, and reaching my limit. I may be going deaf myself at 57 from the shouting..

Hi Jeane1808,
I write from the patients perspective. I was first diagnosed with Early Onset ALZ 5 yrs ago next month. I have been commenting on my journey since 2016. Most recently I had a Neuropsych Exam, that said I need 24/7 care, which was a knockdown blow to me. My DW and I still have an appointment in 2 weeks to find out how he came to this conclusion. My Neuro Doctor who has been my Doctor since Christmas 2005 and my PC say No way am I in need of 24/7 care. Anyway, I just want to keep being direct, and putting my cards on the table from my perspective.
I was diagnosed two years ago with a hearing loss, mostly attributable to wearing headphones for 38yrs of my career in the travel industry. More significant in the left ear than the right ear. Being diagnosed with ALZ, I wasn't too interested in spending for $4000.00 on one set of hearing aids. I did some research on Hearing Assist and a company named MD Hearing Aids. MD was a bit more expensive than Hearing Assist. I bought the VOLT series of MD Hearing's hearing aids, and paid circa $700.00 and have been using them for just about 40 days. Yes, for the most part they are comfortable, and having been retired for 5 yrs, I am able to hear all that I want to and feel I made the best choice for me.
Yes, I have some trouble manipulating them to put on my ears, yes, I can hear much better. When in crowds they seem more difficult to hear what is going on with my family speaking to me. Could I have spent $4000.00 yes, but I don't think I am going to live long enough to justify spending that kind of money. The product that I chose for myself works just fine for me. My Opinion and we know we all have them and like something else we all have _________, fill in the blank.
I hope my friends and fellow patients are finding my suggestions as being valuable.
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jacobsonbob May 18, 2021
I suspect a lot of price goes into making them smaller so they can be hidden such that other people aren't aware they are being worn. However, making them smaller means that they are more difficult to handle and adjust, especially for older people. I believe it's largely a "racket"--with prices artificially inflated to be in line with other outrageous American healthcare costs, with the people selling them trying to convince you it's "rocket science".
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Sounds like jfbtc has the best answers for you--based on the fact he actually went through this and was ACCEPTING of his worsening hearing!!

Unless you WANT to use the aids, you won't.

My DH finally, finally had his hearing checked 2 years ago. He went with the absolute top of the line aids--and won't wear them. $6500 down the drain.

In spite of a very intensive hearing exam and ZERO pressure from the tech, he would not believe that he has serious hearing loss. I was in the room during the test, but not in the BOOTH. So there was no way I could 'rig' this test. He simply failed it with flying colors. Blamed me.

It's his CHOICE to walk around, missing 80% of the conversations, missing the funny things the grandkids say, missing the announcement of his FLIGHT NOW BEING BOARDED (that's happened a few too many times).

My neighbor went to Costco and got the mid range ones and wears them and it's no big deal. He said he spent less than $1000. The cost does and doesn't reflect the qaulity of the aids--it's up to person whether they will put in the work to adapt to hearing all the ambient sounds they don't realize are there.

Living with an almost entirely deaf person has caused ME so much stress it's crazy. Luckily for us, my hearing is really, really good, so that's saved us a few times. BUT, if I had his hearing loss, I would address it and not blame him. His sister has it also (genetic) and she got aids and nothing was said about it--she just said she couldn't believe she went so long without dealing with the hearing loss. His mother is about 90% deaf and she can't hear anything, really. He gets so frustrated with her and I have pointed out that I feel the same way about him.

You can lead a horse to water.....
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jacobsonbob May 18, 2021
Some excellent points here. However, regarding flights, why not simply go to the appropriate gate area where the flight will be boarded, and then it will be obvious when it's time to board because it will be on a sign and everyone else will be lining up to present boarding passes. Monitors can be checked, too.
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I bought a fairly simple voice amplifier for my mom on Amazon, and though she has to be reminded to use it, she prefers it to a hearing aid. It's much easier for her to use (on/off button and a thumbwheel for volume) as she does have a tremor and it was hard for her to feel the switches on the hearing aid. She woudn't use a hearing aid anyway, so this is a good compromise that keeps me from having to yell our conversations. She was doing a lot more lip reading than I had realised!
The amplifier came with earbuds, but I also bought her a cheap sony headset to use and she prefers that--also more difficult to misplace. onus-she can plug the earbuds or headset into her ipad to listen to music.
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I’ve been a hearing loss advocate for many years and understand it can be overwhelming to figure out best course for a loved one. You can always check your home state to find a local Hearing Loss Association of America Chapter. We have all been on Zoom for past year but Chapters can be helpful for unbiased information. I also know here in NC if you qualify financially there is a state program that will pay for a single aid to help the individual.
Hope this might be of help. I primarily just help those struggling on the phone with our federally funded caption phone. Wish I could be of more help but blessed to at least help with the telephone portion. Good luck!
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Jean1808 May 22, 2021
Thank you!
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WE have a firend with hearing loss and who uses hearing aides. He likes to go to the theater when he visits in the summer and his hearing aides do not help there. A few of the theaters have some form of battery operated devise that you can borrow during the performance and those have helped. One theater that he really likes does not have this so a few of us chipped in for a Pocket Talker in Amazon. He said it was the best he has ever heard in any theater and will now use that instead of the ones you can borrow at other places.
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Jean1808 May 22, 2021
Thanl you!
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You do not have to pay $6,000. Seniorliving.org gave MDHearing Aids a good rating and they affordable. The VA will cover if she has benefits.
You will learn more once you see the audiologist. Don't let them "sell" you.
Some are more about the money than others.
I think the behind the ear works best for major hearing loss.
One that is simple to use, some are very complicated with several programs on them that make them hard to use.
I used to work for an ENT office that sold hearing aids and got one for my right ear.
My problem is understanding the words. The hearing aid amplies and makes the
noises louder (which is annoying at first) but no matter how loud I still can't
understand conversation! Frustrating. The digital kind can be programmed for
specific hearing loss and you can go back for adjusting, up or down.
Most hearing aid retailers will offer you a 30 day trial period.
Best of luck!
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Jean1808 May 22, 2021
Thank you!
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I have costco hearing aids. They are Phonacs which are a good brand. They do come with a loss/replacement warranty, but I cannot remember what the deductable is. Mine are for 4 years. The negative for Costco brands is they are preprogrammed and you cannot adjust them yourself. I would sometimes like to be able to turn them down or up. I won't buy them again because of that.
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Jean1808 May 22, 2021
Thanl you for this
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paid 2k for hearing aids and they come with a charging station no more tiny batteries.
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I also recommend Costco. I paid about $1600 for the Kirkland brand. High quality and excellent customer service.
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I have one question. Does your mother want the hearing aids? Does she really want the hearing aids, or is this what you know she needs ?

I ask because we went through the process to get hearing aids. It was my idea. Mom went along with it because I knew she needed them. I did not shop around. We went to one doctor and wound up with the $6,000 pair.

Long story shorter, she did not like them, wouldn't use them. We took them back within the 30-day full money-back guarantee period and received a very nasty, cold and icy tone from the doctor, total 180-degree turn from the friendly sales attitude at the beginning. But Mom did get her money back.
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Jean1808 May 22, 2021
She wants them, I got nervous about cost. She says she feels like she is in a tunnel.
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