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Sun Sep 5, 2021, 02:44 AM

I don't know anything about hearing aids, but I think my BIL is about to be scammed big time.


He's ninety. I haven't seen him for a couple of years, but I know that then, he had to read my lips to know what I was saying.

He's losing ground to the aging process, and resents it terribly as an educated, accomplished man.

He has not seen an audiologist. Not been evaluated by a medical person for his hearing loss.

But next week he is meeting with a sales person who sells hearing aids to people at a retirement facility. BIL thinks this will solve all his loss of productivity -- he will be like new again.

I'm really afraid for my sister in this -- she won't have a voice in the decision, but I suspect they will be out up to eight thousand dollars.

Shouldn't BIL see an audiologist first?

Should someone with no medical background be selling hearing aids to elders?

Thoughts?

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Reply I don't know anything about hearing aids, but I think my BIL is about to be scammed big time. (Original post)
Grasswire2 Sep 5 OP
sprinkleeninow Sep 5 #1
Grasswire2 Sep 5 #2
sprinkleeninow Sep 5 #6
applegrove Sep 5 #3
Grasswire2 Sep 5 #4
applegrove Sep 5 #5
sprinkleeninow Sep 5 #7
jimfields33 Sep 5 #21
BillE Sep 5 #8
msongs Sep 5 #9
applegrove Sep 5 #11
CountAllVotes Sep 5 #10
3Hotdogs Sep 5 #18
Blue Dawn Sep 5 #12
Sherman A1 Sep 5 #13
littlemissmartypants Sep 5 #14
True Blue American Sep 5 #15
Historic NY Sep 5 #16
Biophilic Sep 5 #17
3Hotdogs Sep 5 #19
Chainfire Sep 5 #20
TygrBright Sep 5 #22
Midnight Writer Sep 5 #23

Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 02:51 AM

1. See an audiologist b4 any purchase.

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Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 02:58 AM

2. that's what I told my sis

It seems nuts to buy the device from someone with no medical training and without getting a proper evaluation first.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 03:06 AM

6. There's really innovative ones now. Depending on the severity of hearing loss.

Only an accredited audiologist can customize any aid for you. Some offer trial periods. They don't just sell you them and say toodle-oo.

I should know. Been in this since the 70's.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 02:58 AM

3. I know that they are coming out with disposable ones you buy at the drug store.

My dad had some of the expensive ones he got at a hearing clinic. He used them for a bit. Lost them once. We found them. He never wore them again. He hears when he wants to and the person has a deeper and stronger voice than I. I would check online. See if they are selling them. Then maybe go to an audiologist if they are cheaper. Get a measurement of his need. Buy them online if the audiologist thinks he can get the hearing he needs from the cheap ones. At some point they are going to be like readers (glasses) you buy at the drug store except you can't test them out first.

Another thing we did for Dad was buy headphones with a microphone attached to a long cord so he can hear that way. That worked and was not expensive. The person he is talking to just speaks into the microphone. You can raise or lower the sound. Less than $100 for a good one.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 03:01 AM

4. I don't have any input here, really

I'm just concerned about him getting scammed, and my sister (who will likely end up with all that money gone from what would be her savings, too) not having any say either.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 03:05 AM

5. Ask him if he would not rather headphones than little tiny buds stick in your

ears and have a wire sticking out.....fumbly little things he will lose.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 03:10 AM

7. At the minimum, have a proper audiogram performed and then you're equipped to see how minimal

or severe the loss is. Then go from there.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 10:10 AM

21. I've heard some of my neighbors say they spent 8,000

so the money is probably ok. But I know they went numerous times to get measurements and various other processes before they were right. Of course it wasnít a random salesman. The nursing home should be asked the question of why heís allowed to be there. Of course some residents may not be mobile so this makes it easier for them. Lots of questions need to be asked before payment. I understand you donít have a say. Just asking questions for my own interest I guess. Lol.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 03:12 AM

8. I would suggest he see's a medical doctor first

someone who specializes in hearing loss. It's possible it could be something that can be corrected without hearing aides. i.e. wax build up, some kind of blockage.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 03:49 AM

9. the retirement facility is liable if its a scam as they are letting the person sell there nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 04:18 AM

11. It is probably like those extra adventures you pay extra for at resorts.

Both the old age home and hearing aide people get a cut. Chances are they are not going to scam them if your dad's hearing is perfect but as soon as it gets into a grey area then they are all safe to sell you anything and upsell and not offer your Dad more cost effective ones they may carry.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 04:05 AM

10. Costco

My husband has a lot of hearing loss from the Korean War (60+%).

He went to Costco and was evaluated by a "technician" and they sold him this set of hearing aids for about $1500.

They are really tiny and when he has them in they produce loads of static.

It is so annoying he never bothers with them.

What a waste of money!

They should have never sold these to him being he only has partial eyesight in one eye!


It sure is disgusting the way old people get ripped off.

He too was hoping for a semi-miracle after years of not being able to hear properly.


All is lost for now.

He'd have to start from scratch and this time around I'd make sure he sees an audiologist first before anything is purchased, not some here today, gone tomorrow technician!

Best of luck.










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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 08:51 AM

18. Two of my friends got he Costco aids.

They are pleased.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 04:51 AM

12. I hope he will see an audiologist.

My mother-in-law did get fit professionally for her hearing aids while in her 90s. I know that they cost a bit over five thousand dollars. I really don't know if insurance covered any of the cost. She was very happy with hers. On the other hand, my brother-in-law, who has suffered with hearing loss since he was quite young, is always trying to cut corners so ends up with cheap aids that squeak and squeal and emit occasional ear-piercing sounds....as well as static.

I honestly have no idea if the salesperson coming to speak to your brother-in-law sells legitimate hearing aids, but it would seem to me that any reputable company would require a medical evaluation and a trip to a good audiologist.

I wish him the best. I can only imagine how terribly frustrated he must feel. Will you let us know how it all works out for him? I hope he gets a good pair of hearing aids.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 05:28 AM

13. Rule of thumb

Never buy from anyone that makes a cold call, knocks on the door or in this case makes the rounds at the nursing home. It may not be a scam, but it will be overpriced and generally nothing of value.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 05:34 AM

14. Eight grand is WAY too much!!!

Many places don't charge until the device is adjusted and tolerated. It's not a one trip and it's over thing. It is usually a long drawn out process if done right and many folks who don't follow that process end up with one or two expensive pieces of plastic shoved in a dresser drawer that are never worn because they were not fitted properly and not adjusted to the point of being tolerated.

First, he should get a medical exam, ENT''s often share offices with Audiologists but see an ENT first. If the ear canals are full of wax, which is a frequent occurrence, that can be a cause and possibly an exacerbation of a type of hearing loss called a conductive hearing loss. That requires a medical intervention.

All medical reasons for the hearing problem should be ruled out before just chalking it up to old age HL, aka presbycusis, and slapping in a couple of hearing aids. The ENT will make the Audiologist referral and most likely work in tandem with him or her to assess the hearing loss.

There are individuals, not necessarily just audiologists, who are very capable and reputable that can be found by checking out the hearing aid dealers, aka hearing care providers in some states, by contacting the licensing board in his state. But no one should bypass the medical exam and go straight to buying devices. It can and often does lead to buyer's remorse. Always research the provider first!

Costs have come down so much in recent years I would say that he should be able to get by with spending no more than $2 to $4 grand for the devices. The medical exams and audiograms plus middle ear testing costs can vary. He should not spend any money on the devices until fully satisfied and the truly reputable sales person, audiologist or licensed dealer, will not charge until you are fully fitted and comfortable with wearing the devices. Then and only then, is when the money should change hands.

I hope this helps.

❤ pants

Mayo Clinic recommendations on hearing aids
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/in-depth/hearing-aids/art-20044116

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 06:07 AM

15. They need to be licensed Audiologists.

But even they can not be fully trusted.

Once Insurance companies ,( Medicare Advantage,) started paying. Audiologists exploded all over. New sites opened, expansion all over and the hearing aid companies exploited with raising prices, charging much more than the 3 thousand to the desperate patient

Congress needs to fix the law. It is not working for those who have serious loss of hearing. Then Insurance started rebelling. People were paying thousands over their insurance. A law was passed by Congress so people could buy OTC for much less. That still leaves people with severe hearing loss at the mercy of grifters.

Right now it is hit or miss.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 07:23 AM

16. He really should consult a professional, new technology

many work with bluetooth and allow you to hear cell phone calls. etc.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 08:04 AM

17. Here's my take on hearing aids.

I've worn them for over 20 years. I literally can't function without them especially these days of face masks. Thought I should do it "right" about 10 years ago (instead of a hearing aid salesperson) and went to an audiologist in a hospital. The audiologist got my level of hearing loss completely wrong. She said I needed cochlear implants. Luckily I knew better. I went back to my hearing aid guy who also does regular hearing tests etc. Every time he has gotten things correct. My hearing remains usable. I have progressive hearing loss that doesn't seem to have any cause other then getting older. Yes, the hearing aids aren't cheap, last pair was $5,000, but my life would be much less without them. They allow me to talk on the phone (they have blue tooth), listen to music, and watch some movies.

Unfortunately, my hearing aid guy told me that this was my last pair of hearing aids. I would need to go to a cochlear implant next. The only good part of that is that I think Medicare covers at least part of cochlear implants.

I think it probably depends a great deal of who one is working with. I think I've been lucky both because of the guy I've been working with for all these years (except for my first pair) as well as finding the means to pay for them, usually because I was still working. This last pair I needed to get a loan.





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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 08:56 AM

19. Go to an Otoloaryngologist (ear doctor) first. They are MD's.

Medicare pays for that, minus co-pay. You will get a fair evaluation as to whether aids will even work.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 09:14 AM

20. My wife's aides cost about six thousand dollars.

They were purchased after a lot of investigation and hearing testing. They are top-of-the-line units that come with regular follow-up visits to the audiologists included in the purchase price. There is a world of difference in over-the-counter aides and top of the line units. I would advise against buying aides from a door-to-door salesman.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 11:37 AM

22. Yes. See an audiologist. That's what SMART PEOPLE do. n/t

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Response to Grasswire2 (Original post)

Sun Sep 5, 2021, 12:34 PM

23. I had a friend who sold hearing aids door to door, and he was a total con man.

I would recommend going to a an established business with an audiologist.

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