Tips for Buying Hearing Aids for Seniors

While seniors are more affected by hearing loss, very few of them have ever used hearing aids. According to a survey by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders(NIDCD), less than 30 percent of those aged 70 or older who could benefit from a hearing aid have ever used it.

While hearing aids are considered the best solution for hearing loss, many seniors do not use hearing aids because they believe hearing aids are unaffordable or because they feel uncomfortable using modern technologies. However, there are different types of hearing aids available for those who are financially-concerned and not technologically inclined. You can explore various options to choose the best hearing aid for the elderly.

Hearing Aid Buying Tips for Seniors

Consider these factors to select the best hearing aids for seniors:

1. Consider Usability Before Anything

The ease-of-use depends on the person’s communication needs, vision, hearing acuity, lifestyle, and preferences. For your parents or grandparents, for example, you can choose a hearing aid that comes with rechargeable batteries, manual controls, and additional features like remote controls, wireless connectivity, noise reduction, and direct audio input. These features can help your loved ones use hearing aids with ease.

2. Determine the Accessories You May Need

Before selecting a hearing aid for your loved one, determine the accessories that are required to expand and enhance its functional capabilities and lifespan. You may need accessories such as dehumidifiers, chargers, batteries, cleaning tools, streamers, and more.

3. Go Digital Over Analog

Analog hearing aids simply pick up existing sounds and make them louder. However, digital hearing aids digitize the sounds before amplification so they can deliver a clean sound that you exactly require. For ultimate output, you can choose digital hearing aids for your loved ones.

4. Ensure It’s Locally Programmable

Hearing aids are programmable by manufacturers and audiologists. However, manufacturers cannot accurately program your hearing aids that suit your hearing requirements and ability. An audiologist can program your hearing aids depending on the degree of your hearing loss. They can adjust things like microphone parameters, volume, intensity levels, frequency, max power output, and noise reduction.

It is recommended to select the hearing aids that are programmable by an audiologist as having locked hearing aids programmed by manufacturers can result in inaccurate audio programming.

5. Select the One with Rechargeable Batteries

Hearing aids that come with disposable batteries can be very annoying at times as they would require you to replace the battery almost every week since the average lifespan of disposable hearing aid batteries is 3-7 days. With rechargeable batteries, you can be confident and certain that your battery will be ready to go each morning after a night’s charge and would remain active throughout the day.

6. Go for the One with the Highest IP Rating

Unfortunately, there is no hearing aid in the market that’s completely waterproof. However, most hearing aids do provide water-resistance or shower resistance features to overcome short-term exposure to moisture or water.

Each hearing aid receives a two-digit Ingress Protection (IP) rating from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). The first digit rates the degree of protection against the debris, dust, or sand, on a scale from 1 to 7. The second digit rates how resistant the device is to moisture, on a scale from 1 to 9. So, a rating of IP 67 means that the device is highly protected against solid objects, such as sand and debris, and can work for a short time (around 30 minutes) in water that is less than three feet deep.

Additional tip: Make sure not to leave it exposed to humidity for too long as it can damage delicate parts and stop the hearing aid from functioning.

7. Check the Trial Period

Most hearing aids come with a no-obligation trial period offer so that the user can get used to the hearing aid and decide whether it is right for them or not. The minimum trial duration differs by state. In California, there is a state law that guarantees a minimum 45-days trial period with a full refund if not satisfied.

8. Ensure You Have the Support When Needed

It takes time for the user to adjust to the newly-fitted hearing aid. During the initial months, you may need to get its sound fine-tuned, or some unexpected technical glitches might occur that would require customer care support. Ensure that the hearing aid that you’ve selected comes with competent customer support and an audiologist-assisted fine-tuning.

At Hoffmann Audiology, we offer free initial follow up appointments after you have bought the hearing aid from our clinic, and we are available for any other kind of hearing aid repair or troubleshooting anytime you want.

9. Find a Specific Device for Specific Condition

Different types of hearing aids are available in the market. Some hearing aids are specifically built to manage specific hearing-related conditions, like dementia, tinnitus, or a severe hearing loss. Take your loved one to an audiologist for a diagnostic hearing evaluation and the right hearing recommendation.

10. Don’t Give Too Much Stress on the Cost

Hearing aids are definitely not cheap when it comes to pricing. The average rate of a pair of hearing aid ranges from $1,000 to $4,000. It will vary depending on the size, features, and type of hearing aid you are buying. Rather than just looking at the cost, make sure the hearing aid can overcome your hearing problem and suit your lifestyle and hearing requirements.

At Hoffmann Audiology, we have low monthly payment plans, which include 12-months 0% financing options if you purchase hearing aids through CareCredit or Allegro Credit. We can also let you know all the costs your insurance will cover and what would be your out-of-pocket costs so that you do not get any unexpected bills.

Visit an Audiologist Before Buying the Hearing Aid for Seniors

An audiologist will perform a hearing test to determine the underlying causes and severity of hearing loss and recommend the suitable hearing aid. This is why it is recommended to take your loved one to an audiologist for a hearing aid recommendation. Contact us at 949-536-5180 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris Hoffmann!


Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

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