April Showers Bring Spring Flowers!

Just the way a little rain can nourish dormant plants and new seeds to result in a bountiful, beautiful bouquet, the cycle of education, evaluation, training, application, and adjustments foster reliable and dependable performance. The team at Elkhart Audiology Rehab is one which engages in continuing education, staff training and regular evaluation of our processes to be sure you get the best in patient focused hearing care! The continuous improvement and building on our skills mean you can trust and depend on us to deliver the best options for your hearing health needs.

Communication is an Ear to Brain journey, not the purchase of any single product. Evidence based practices like real ear measurements and functional listening assessments used routinely in our office allows for a customized treatment plan. Adjustments can be made along the way to maximize your communication abilities. Sharon and her staff are life-long learners. They evaluate new literature and look for the evidence before implementing new products or processes. Perhaps most importantly, new tests, techniques, and products are implemented when they will enhance the client hearing health journey. They do not rely on old data or processes when new ones are simply better!

Introducing Cognivue Thrive

The link between un-treated age-related hearing loss with the more rapid progression of cognitive decline and incidental dementia has been growing. Dr. Frank Lin and colleagues at John’s Hopkins shared this link in 2013 when they found individuals with hearing loss had a 55% greater risk of developing dementia compared to those with normal hearing. Subsequent studies in the field of Otorinolaryngology in 2016 and a meta-analysis in 2018 support the findings.
Un-treated hearing loss decreases brain matter, increases cognitive load and decreases the quality of communication leading to social isolation and depression and facilitate dementia. Given the significant relationship between hearing and cognitive health, we will be implementing the computerized screening tool using FDA-cleared technology called Cognivue Thrive in the months ahead.

The new screening tool and an additional speech in noise evaluation process will help us manage the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline along with area physicians and neurologists.

Audiologists and those that specialize in speech, language or cognition are uniquely qualified through our education to implement this tool. You may know Sharon has a master’s degree in Audiology, but her bachelor’s degree was in Communication Arts and Sciences; Stefanie’s bachelor’s degree is in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Both of these communication programs include anatomy, physiology, speech therapy and auditory processing course work so we are excited to work together and watch how earlier identification, amplification and therapy will help our clients stabilize and even improve their cognitive function.

We will begin offering this additional testing to both new and returning clients in May- Just in time for our national celebration as May is Better Hearing and Speech Month throughout the United States. Stay tuned for more details!

Do You have a favorite spring flower? If you place a vote on our Facebook page you will be entered to win a gift card to Matzke Florist. Like and share the post for extra chances!

Local Mask Advisory vs CDC Guidelines for Healthcare

The CDC still recommends wearing masks when we are less than 6 feet apart. Therefore, we will still require you to wear a mask in our office during all hearing procedures even if you are fully vaccinated. We have mask “extenders” in our office to help take the pressure from your ears and decrease the likelihood of losing a hearing aid by adjusting or removing your mask.

Hearing The Call… The Hearing Smile…

Sharon started out her audiology career at a United Way funded office for Hearing and Speech Services. She has also worked for years with local Lion’s Clubs to provide free or reduced services to individuals meeting their guidelines. She has also fit hearing aids thru the Starkey Hear Now Foundation and the Foundation for Sight and Sound. Why? To reduce barriers to better hearing for those with significant financial difficulties!

We are pleased to announce we have now partnered with Entheos Audiology Cooperative to further our commitment to serving and reconnecting people to their hearing, dignity and self-worth. Each of your hearing aid purchases helps to change destinies both globally and locally. Additional monetary donations can be ear-marked for local or global use and are tax deductible. Hearing aids less than 5 years old can also be donated for reconditioning and provided for “adoption”. Each person fit with hearing aids thru this organization is asked to give back to others in their community. It is a hand-up not a hand-out. Thank you for purchasing your hearing devices through us so we may continue to give the gift of hearing and see the hearing smile from those who have not heard for a very long time or never before…you can find out more at www.hearingthecall.org 

So, a reminder as we close…we are happy to see you inside our office, curbside for cleanings and are happy to provide assistance over the phone, through Facetime or Zoom. You can order supplies or check out a variety of hearing aid assistive devices from our website. We want to serve you in the way you are most comfortable. When scheduling just let Danielle or Deb know what type of help you need and how you want to connect with Stefanie or Sharon for service.

Thank you for making our days brighter when we connect -even if we have a few showers waiting for the pretty flowers! Sharon, Stefanie, Deb and Danielle

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