In the Spring of 2015, a new patient who came in for a hearing evaluation was put on our financial assistance waiting list for a hearing aid.
We called Jim in the Fall of 2015 with news that financial assistance was available. He and his wife were elated because the day before, they were discussing where sacrifices could be made in their budget to save for a reliable hearing aid. Jim returned his application shortly after receiving it, and he qualified to pay a portion of the total cost of the hearing aid.
Since his initial hearing test appointment in early 2015, Jim’s hearing had gotten worse, particularly in his one “good” ear. Hearing in his other ear suffered damage in 1968 as a result of his occupation. Over the last 5 years, Jim compensated for his poor hearing by using cheaply priced hearing amplifiers found online. He says they really didn’t work well, but it was better than nothing.
Hearing has been an important component throughout Jim’s life due to dyslexia. To deal with his disorder, Jim has relied on people speaking and reading to him. As his hearing deteriorated, it became harder to hear every day sounds, his doctor, and his family who are very precious to him. Jim has been married to his wife, Marilyn, for 31 years. Together they have 9 children and 30 grandchildren. With his hearing issues, Jim and Marilyn, particularly, were losing basic communication skills. When conversations with his sons turned serious and their voices lowered, he could not understand them. He found it incredibly challenging and heartbreaking to not hear the soft voices of his grandchildren. Jim felt himself shutting down, and he was weary from asking Marilyn to repeat everything that she and others were saying.
Jim’s spirits changed the moment he received a hearing aid early this year. He says, “It was like being born again! I called everyone to let them know I got a hearing aid that works well.” Jim says the hearing aid has really helped him and his wife communicate, and he is most impressed with hearing her voice again. He can also hear his grandchildren, and the volume of the TV can be at a reasonable level.
We couldn’t be more pleased with the success Jim is having with only one hearing aid. He would greatly benefit from having two; but until he is eligible to receive a second hearing aid through financial assistance in three years, Jim is taking in all the sounds he has been missing and enjoying every family interaction.