Best Hearing Aids for Seniors in 2022
Learn about the top hearing aids for seniors, what features to look for, your potential financing options, and the best hearing aids for seniors with dementia.
While the probability of hearing impairment increases with age, that does not mean you or your loved one need to live with hearing loss or feel embarrassed by considering treatment. Today's market boasts modern technology with hearing aids for seniors that help them feel confident and happy.
This article will help you discover what to look for when deciding what hearing aids work best for you, including features like the fit, ease of use, battery life, Bluetooth capabilities, and more. We will also review your potential financing options, including where to find free or discounted rates on hearing aids, and the top hearing aids for seniors with dementia.
Hearing Aid Features to Look For
When reviewing the top hearing aids, you will want to research several characteristics. There are three main styles when it comes to fit; in-the-ear, in-the-canal, and behind-the-ear. Traditional in-the-ear devices are custom made to cover all or the majority of outer ear openings. In-the-canal devices are similar, except they will be more sunken into the ear canals. Lastly, behind-the-ear devices are elongated and rest on the back of the ears. You will want to try various fits to find the most comfortable hearing aids and what style may impact the quality and sound.
Bluetooth is another popular feature when choosing the best hearing aids to use. With this technology, you can connect your hearing aids to your phone, smart TV, or other devices. You may benefit from streaming better sound quality for music, phone calls, and more.
Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids for Seniors
One of the most convenient features of modern hearing aids is that nearly all are rechargeable. While quality does not change with battery choice, price, and convenience are considered factors. Disposable, single-use zinc hearing aid batteries may be cheaper but must be changed every week. In contrast, rechargeable hearing aids can have up to 30 hours of battery life from a single charge. In the past, rechargeable hearing aids were mainly only the behind-the-ear style. However, this has changed, and you can easily find smaller, custom in-the-ear rechargeable devices.
If you are leaning toward rechargeable hearing aids, you may want to look at Lively, Eargo, ReSound ONE, Oticon More, and Starkey options.
Free Hearing Aids for Seniors
If you are looking to get free hearing aids or a significant discount on them, you may have some options. If you are a U.S. Veteran and receive healthcare coverage through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), you are eligible for hearing aids, hearing evaluations, and more. If you are not a Veteran but are considered a low-income senior, you will want to investigate Medicaid. Hearing aid coverage through the federal program varies from state to state.
If you find out your state does not cover hearing aids, you still may have some opportunities for financial help through various state and national-based foundations and agencies that help seniors. Visit HearingLoss.org or try the Hearing Aid Project, which offers assistance at the state or national level.
Hearing Aids for Seniors on Medicare
A common question is whether Medicare or any type of financial aid covers hearing aids for seniors. Programs like Medicare do not cover hearing aids or exams to fit hearing aids. This is largely due to the age of the program, which was enacted as a law in 1965, when hearing loss was not as widely understood. However, Medicare might cover a physician-ordered hearing test or treatment of a hearing-related medical condition. It’s best to consult with your medical office to understand what is covered and what will be required to be paid.
Best Hearing Aids for Seniors with Dementia
Research by Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph. D., and his colleagues determined that hearing loss has been linked to cognitive issues like dementia. They found that people who experience mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia, while those with severe hearing impairments are five times more likely.
A couple of solutions for seniors with dementia and hearing impairments are either Phonak Lyric's hearing implant, a no-fuss, out-of-sight-out-of-mind type option, or Oticon's Opn S hearing aids, which have special features to help seniors hear more around them, rather than only taking in sound in the direction they turn their heads.
If you are curious about other devices or intelligent home accessories available for you or your loved one, read our next article "Smart Home Assistants for Seniors."
Find Senior Care Near You
Hearing loss shouldn’t slow you down and the right technology can be extremely beneficial. Look for custom-fit devices that meet your lifestyle needs and desires. Hearing aids are not a one-size-fits-all device and vary in fit, features, capabilities, and pricing. Depending on you or your loved one's individual hearing needs, there are hearing aids to discover that make a difference and improve audio quality of life.
Let Referah's Family Connection Agents help guide you through the senior care process. We work closely with seniors and their families in communities across the country to help you find professional senior care and support near you. Our tools will help you find the right care type for yours and your loved ones needs.