The Rebels at EAR!
Your team at Elkhart Audiology Rehab are Rebels! We fight against poor information, poor service, and the disappointment from poorly fit or poorly prescribed products. How do we do it? By building relationships with you! Asking questions to understand your needs. Educating you on options available rather than selling based on the features of one manufacturer purchased in bulk or pre–selected by an insurance carrier. We share our treatment knowledge and how different features, or rehab programs will impact your communication needs. You can trust what you’re told and have clear expectations for benefits and in any trade–offs which may impact your performance. We take the time to listen and to respond.
Insurance companies worry about minimal resource allocation and not the impact of co–morbidities like diabetes, tinnitus, heart conditions, dementia on communication outcomes.
Then we find products often labeled as “premium” through some networks are often the premium tier they offer under their plan but NOT the most recent technology or top level offered by a particular manufacturer. You don’t know what they don’t share. We also don’t push premium tech to all clients. We provide a balanced approach to evaluating your listening abilities and listening environments. Individuals may have poor word recognition in noise, or just an intolerance to noise, while others remain “stable” in those environments. Clients who are in a quiet home most of the time have very different listening demands than those volunteering or working regularly in a noisy classroom.
The desire to offer premium, vetted, technology consistently, and take the time needed to discover communication stumbling blocks, complete additional tests and use the education required to review data and create an individualized treatment plan, all while enlightening you, has meant becoming an out of network provider. This might make us unpopular at times, but
we have structured our business this way to have better quality control over the products, processes, and client experience we can offer you. To provide best practices to get better results!
Better results and better relationships build loyalty; something missing in many settings today. We understand loyalty comes at a cost and you have many choices on how you spend your healthcare dollars. Sometimes the choice is a compromise, or sometimes it is the best available! Let us be your North Star to guide you to your best prescriptive solution so you can get the most quality from your relationships in this life. We are all blessed when you invest your time and money with us, a center of excellence and an independent small business.
TEAM Member Spotlight
As you know, it has been tough to get reliable help over the last year. You have experienced longer wait times than you are used to from us. That has been a hard choice, but we would rather you wait a little longer for a good experience than have a poor experience. We invest in the right staff and continually train them so they can delight you! I am happy to introduce you to Julia, who recently moved here from Ohio and worked previously in healthcare with a chiropractor and is quickly becoming familiar with the terms and procedures related to becoming an ace audiology assistant. We still need you to call ahead for any services you might need so we can schedule you properly. Julia will complement Jill, Deb and myself to round out a team to keep you smiling and hearing your best!
Service? Always a Goal!
With more individuals relocating here, wanting better hearing even with a self–fit or over–the–counter device, we are getting calls for help. Proper cleaning, dome selection and testing can provide noticeable improvement. Depending on appointment availability, here is what we can do:
- Evaluate and recommend dome sizes provided in the original
fitting kit using our Otometric real ear equipment. We do not
stock domes for most over the counter devices. A current
hearing test is required before real ear can be completed.
- We can provide replacement receiver links and domes for most
Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Signia products, as well as run
electroacoustic measures to check for gain, output and distortion
using our Auricle Hearing Instrument Test Box.
- Suction microphone and receiver ports and use our Redux to remove
Hearing Loss Doesn’t Start or Stop At Your Ears
All new clients and some established ones get an overview of the importance of practicing listening skills when getting hearing devices. Sometimes people are recommended to complete aural rehab even if they have normal hearing. Why? Because it works to improve your ability to pull meaningful conversation out of our noisy world! The 5 Keys program we offer starts with a book; continues with 52 lessons (one a week) sent to you via your email, or they now offer an app for smart phone users. If you or someone you love needs some encouragement to practice good communication, Henry (the puppy in the 5Keys program) might just do the trick! Looking for more? Something different? There are other choices available on–line or through tele–health / zoom calls like the Hearing Wellness Journey and Amptify designed to help train your auditory processing brain. You can sign up on your own or we are happy to assist you.
What’s New In Hearing Devices?
Oticon has released their next improvement for their platform called the “Real” which reduces the challenge of dealing with disruptive sounds around you to improve focus on speech and decrease listening effort (by as much as 22% in one study.) We have demo devices in the office available for evaluation.
Tired of behind the ear devices? Signia has released an in the ear rechargeable device to keep pressure off of the back of sensitive ears. Battery life is between 12 and 16 hours on a charge for this style. They are also Blue Tooth compatible for I–phone platform phone calls and have an App for easy adjustment on a screen vs using buttons (buttons are still available).
Looking to get wet this summer and still be able to hear those around the pool? Then the Phonak Life Rechargeable is the product for you! It has been tested in pools with chlorine, salt water and during a shower and the hearing aid doesn’t hiss, sizzle, or die. They accomplished this by using silicone on the seams and changing the way it charges (not available for disposable batteries).
Hearing Loss In Today’s Economy
• Economic costs of lost productivity due to hearing loss is estimated widely from $1.8
to $194 billion in the US.
• Healthcare costs over a 10–year span are $22,000 higher for someone with hearing loss due the need for longer stays and a higher risk for readmission.
The use of hearing devices has been shown to reduce the impact. But good results take more than just a device. We are your local experts that can help manage this chronic condition and save you money in the long run. Our functional communication assessments and screening for auditory processing are just two things you won’t find through other avenues. We are here to help. Give us a call.
What Does it Mean To Have Hearing Loss?
The answer is not the same for every one but the following words were shared and made an impact with me so I thought I would share them with you:
When you are hard of hearing you struggle to hear,
When you struggle to hear you get tired,
When you get tired you get frustrated,
When you get frustrated you get bored,
When you get bored you quit.
—I didn’t quit today.
Let us help provide direction, resources, and encouragement so you or someone you care about doesn’t withdraw from social interaction. You are the reason we do what we do every day. We are passionate about being REBELs in this world and want to empower you to reduce emotional and physiological stress and ENJOY your conversations.
Until we meet again, be well and find some Joy in the Journey–
Sharon, Deb, Jill and Julia
Here to serve you
Monday – Thursday from:
8 – noon and 1-5pm
(closed for lunch)