Technology You Can Use – Captioned Telephones

Not all modern technology is easily accessible and easy to use. Sometimes we are told how easy it is to use a new technological innovation only to quickly learn that the technology requires the memorization of untold steps just to access it—definitely not easy at all! And, seemingly not worth the trouble to learn how it works!

But, this is not always the case! I am writing today to provide information about a relatively unknown product, available from two different providers in Georgia that serve to greatly enhance your telephone communications with others. This innovation is the captioned home telephone. Yes, just like closed-captioning on your television, there are now telephones that convert the spoken word into easy-to-read text that will help ensure that you receive every last bit of your important communications. Wouldn’t it be great not to be “guessing” at words, or asking people to repeat?

Closed-captioned phones can serve as an aid to your residual hearing, and enhance your ability to communicate over the telephone. The great “fringe” benefit of having a closed-captioned phone includes the appearance of large, real-time, high-resolution captions that appear on a large display screen, making it easy for you to read and confirm what you are hearing. Most phones also have adjustable volume controls which you can set to your comfort level, and some even have answering machines that will play back both audio and close-captioning for all of your missed calls. With additional options such as caller ID and speed-dialing, these phones offer many attractive advantages.

A terrific advantage is that the companies that offer these telephones also offer installation in your home, installation that includes personalized in-home instruction in how to set the phone’s options to your liking, and how to navigate through the settings.

If you have ever had the experience of being frustrated when trying to communicate over the telephone, perhaps it is time that you look into some technology that is designed to help.

General Requirements to take advantage of this service:

  • Medically-recognized hearing loss (application signed by your Audiologist)
  • A high-speed internet connection (either wired or wireless)
  • A standard home phone (land line), though not necessary if using the mobile app.

There are two services for hearing impaired Georgia residents that provide free telephones with call-captioning for all incoming and outgoing telephone calls. If you have an interest in a close-captioned telephone technology, please contact Audiological Consultants of Atlanta for more information.

 

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Consultative Support

Many of us go to doctor appointments on a fairly routine basis. Each individual harbors a variety of emotions when keeping such appointments. While some of us may have grown comfortable with our practitioners, others, may have had negative experiences that lead to anxious feelings. These uncomfortable feelings may arise from poor bedside manner, negative medical results, or a poor explanation of treatment plans. As a result, these negative circumstances may serve to create a sense of anxiety and emotional distress that can carry over to any future medical appointments. In these situations, a useful approach for turning these bad experiences around is to consider bringing along a spouse, family member or friend that you trust. This can be especially effective during an appointment for an initial consultation.

We at Audiological Consultants of Atlanta highly recommend that when making your first appointment with us that you make arrangements to bring a spouse, family member, or close friend with you. The benefits of having four ears versus two can be of greater benefit than you can imagine. During such an initial appointment a lot of important information will be delivered. And, you will most likely have questions. Having a second set of ears can aid with taking notes regarding what was discussed.

The family member or friend can be act as a key bridge between important information that may be valuable to the Audiologist when discussing medical history, daily challenges that the patient may be experiencing, living situation, safety measures and treatment options. Another key factor of significant importance is that their presence provides helpful moral support. Having a strong support system can really make the patient being evaluated much more at ease, and less anxious regardless of what the results may be. At Audiological Consultants of Atlanta, our Audiologists take the time to educate the patient about the results that were obtained, and demonstrate effective hearing treatment options that may provide help. Having a loved one with you may aid in remembering to ask important questions and ensure that the patient is fully aware of all options, and feels comfortable with what is being explained.

Our staff will always be glad to demonstrate various makes and models of hearing aids, and go through the many benefits and limitations of wearing them. This demonstration can enhance their understanding of what they may have been missing and how life changing hearing aids can be. Hearing a voice that is familiar to you can also be helpful in validating the benefit of new hearing aids.

 

The entire staff at Audiological Consultants of Atlanta is committed to uncompromised quality and value through our teamwork, compassion, innovative services and personal guidance. We are committed to the success for each patient in making their experience one that is life-changing.

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What is Hearing Loss? Oh, and What can be Done About It?

“I can hear, but I can’t understand.” “I’m wearing my hearing aids, but I am still having trouble in a restaurant.”  Do these statements sound familiar to you? Read Full Article

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New Award Given to ACA Employees – “YOU ROCK”!

ACA created a new award this year for an ACA staff member(s) that is presented during each of our monthly office meetings.  The recipient of this special award is chosen as a living example of our ACA mission statement of exemplifying our leadership role through commitment, dedication, innovation and excellence of the highest quality. Let’s congratulate all recipients on our “YOU ROCK” award!

March recipient: Lori McCorry, Au.D., Audiologist

April recipient: Maureen Connon, Support staff

May recipient: Katherine Pollard, Au.D., Audiologist

June recipient: The Griffin office staff: Sheila Pack, Au.D., Audiologist, Tammi St. Claire, Support staff and Miya Wright, Audiology Assistant

 

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INSURANCE, FINANCING, WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

Are you or a loved one in the market for hearing aids?  If so, you’re not alone.  There are over 36 million Americans suffering from hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss ranks third behind heart disease and arthritis as the most common disorder among those over 65.  With more people needing hearing aids consumers are becoming increasingly aware that routine hearing services and hearing aids are rarely covered by Medicare or private medical insurance companies.  There are however, certain supplemental plans or assistance programs that individuals can use to assist them with their hearing aid purchase.  Coverage for hearing services/aids differs from the traditional medical insurance coverage in the way the benefits are administered.  The following are examples of some reimbursement and financing scenarios:

1-      Some plans pay a set amount of money toward the retail cost of hearing aids and the patient is responsible for the balance.  This type of benefit is typically available for renewal every 3-5 years.

2-      A discount program is where the insurance company has partnered with providers to offer subscribers a percentage off the retail cost of hearing aids and hearing services.  These programs often offer extended warranty plans as well as batteries.

3-      Certain unions or larger corporations have a specific hearing aid for federal and state employees.  Federal employees are covered under the Federal Employee Benefit Health Program for a basic hearing aid and if they want or need an upgrade they are responsible for the difference.  State employees typically have hearing benefits also and the amount of coverage varies with each state.

4-      For those individuals without hearing benefits and limited financial resources there are programs such as GA Lions Lighthouse Foundation that offer assistance for those who meet certain qualifications.  Your audiologist can provide the application.

5- Financing through Wells Fargo and Care Credit is also available.

When purchasing hearing aids, it’s important to be an educated consumer.  With so many different hearing aid providers and numerous insurance plans it can be confusing to know where to start when shopping for hearing aids.  The product is important but the “expert” is most important.  Finding the right hearing solution may not be easy but there are certain tests and services that are a must for those to receive the most beneficial outcomes.

Audiological Consultants of Atlanta is dedicated to improving hearing health and we will work with you and your benefits.  Don’t miss out on the important things in life due to hearing loss.

 

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NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF PRACTICE INDUCTS HELENA STERN SOLODAR, AU.D.

2016-helena-stern-solodar-240Founded in 1981, NAP is an interdisciplinary, nonprofit organization, with membership representing 14 health care professions willing to serve as distinguished advisors to health care policy makers in Congress and elsewhere. The 14 academies of practice within the NAP include: Audiology, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Osteopathic Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Podiatric Medicine, Psychology, Social Work, Speech-Language Pathology and Veterinary Medicine.

Membership in the NAP is an honor extended to those who have excelled in their profession and are dedicated to furthering practice, scholarship and policy in support of inter-professional care. The central purpose of NAP is to advise public policy makers on health care issues using NAP’s unique perspective — that of expert practitioners and scholars joined in interdisciplinary dialogue.

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BE AWARE!

Do you enjoy listening to live music? Do you use power tools or are you around loud equipment? Read Full Article

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“OnStar” in Your Ears

In 2014, Price Waterhouse Cooper surveyed 1,000 consumers in the US regarding the purchase and use of wearable technology. Results showed that as a general trend, Millennials (those born between 1982-2004) are more likely to own and use a fitness tracker or smart watch. Read Full Article

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HOW CAN TREATING HEARING LOSS KEEP YOU YOUTHFUL AND ACTIVE? by Better Hearing Institute

Addressing hearing loss is one of the best things you can do to improve your quality of life and keep up a youthful pace.
In fact, new technologies have made it easier to manage hearing loss and stay engaged in life.
Today’s hearing aids help people with hearing loss better hear sounds and people from all directions, and they filter out noise. Many sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal and out of sight; and many are wireless, so they can interface easily with other high-tech devices like smartphones, home entertainment systems, conference-room speakerphones, and hearing loops. Some are even waterproof; and others are rechargeable.
Addressing hearing loss really can help you better maintain your vitality. Here’s how:
1. By getting out and enjoying life: People with hearing difficulty who use hearing aids get more pleasure in doing things and are even more likely to exercise and meet up with friends to socialize.
2. By nurturing relationships and social connections: Most people who currently wear hearing aids say it not only helps their overall ability to communicate effectively in most situations, but it also has a positive effect on their relationships and ability to participate in group activities. And they’re more likely to have a strong social network.
3. By keeping a positive outlook: Research shows that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic and feel engaged in life. Many even say they feel more confident and better about themselves as a result of using hearing aids.
4. By being a go-getter: People with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to tackle problems actively, research shows. And most hearing aid users in the workforce say it has helped their performance on the job. In fact, research found that using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. People with untreated hearing loss can lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, the study found.
5. By doing what you can to protect your cognitive function, stay on your feet, and keep the blues away: A study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University found that hearing aids may slow cognitive decline tied to hearing loss. The study found that estimated 20-year rates of decline in memory and global function were greatest in participants who did not use a hearing aid. Earlier studies have linked hearing loss to dementia and cognitive issues. Another Johns Hopkins study showed that people in middle age (40-69) with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. The intensive listening effort demanded by unaddressed hearing loss may take cognitive resources away from what is needed for balance and gait, researchers have suggested. And a 2014 study found that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression adults of all ages, but is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year olds.

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Am I Just Dizzy or Am I Experiencing Vertigo?

Millions of Americans have disorders of balance they describe as dizziness. What can be difficult for both a patient and their doctor is that dizziness is a subjective term. Read Full Article

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