An important factor in these findings is the participation of a loved one in the treatment of their partner’s hearing Loss. Significant others often play a role in patients seeking audiology testing to begin with, and they can also assist clinicians in understanding the specific communication challenges their partner faces. In addition, the involvement of a loved one can impact the continuity and effectiveness of treatment by encouraging their partner to adhere to best practices as directed.
In a groundbreaking way, audiologists like the ones at ESHC are now incorporating another important feature of social support into the hearing aid user’s experience. Aural rehabilitation (or AR) is a practice that brings trained speech therapists and audiologists together in co-treatment of hearing aid patients. Once a patient has begun using their technology, they will find that environmental noises are more noticeable. These enhanced sounds cannot be completely eliminated and they pose a challenging period of adjustment. While the brain can and will adapt, the use of aural rehabilitative exercises for the ears helps patients to perform at peak and stay in line with their peers. In fact, the use of social support programs like these is associated with a 30-40% improvement in quality of hearing.
Overall, a strong, well-trained support system that considers all aspects of a patient’s core social network will improve both the hearing function experience of a patient’s devices, as well as their self-confidence, sense of wellbeing and social comfort.
For more information, see February 2016 issue of The Hearing Journal, article title: The Benefits of Social Support for Listeners with Impaired Hearing.