11. Counseling and Aural Rehabilitation
I would be oversimplifying the consumer journey with hearing aids if I stated that hearing loss rehabilitation involves only being fitted with hearing aids. Some people with hearing loss will visit a hearing health professional, be tested, and then be fitted with their hearing aids, and thereby they derive optimal benefit. But many people, especially those who have delayed a solution for 10 or 15 years or who have more serious hearing losses, may need more help.
Less experienced hearing aid users should consider attending one-on-one or group sessions with their hearing health professional or doing independent study. If your hearing health professional does not offer aural rehabilitation (commonly comprising group discussion of hearing issues), by all means find a local group in your area that provides such training. A good starting point is to contact the Hearing Loss Association of America (www.shhh.org) to see if there’s a self-help group in your area…In addition, the Better Hearing Institute has provided a number of articles on the following topics (www.betterhearing.org under “Hearing Solutions”): resolution of any negative feelings you have about your hearing loss; care and maintenance of your hearing aids; communication strategies including assertiveness training; clear speech communication; and if necessary, speechreading tips for hearing in noise; your legal rights and using computer software to retrain your auditory skills (e.g., LACE).
Excerpt by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D.
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