Community News
Hearing Aids and Compatible Apps

Are Hearing Aids and Apps Compatible with my Cell Phone?

A common concern for new hearing aid users is the ability to use their phone while wearing the devices. Thankfully, a few years back the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented rules for phone manufacturers to ensure users could differentiate compatible versus non-compatible cell phones. This change obliged companies to make their devices hearing aid friendly. Today, there are applications and adaptors readily available to assist with the struggles of hearing loss.

What Phones are Hearing Aid Compatible?

Mobile devices have come a long way since the FCC rule was introduced, and since then all smartphones are required to be hearing aid compatible (HAC). With smartphones evolving at a rapid pace, the features and abilities for hearing aid users continue to progress. Users now have the ability to connect hearing aids to landlines through adaptors, making comfortable conversations possible at home and on the go. With this ever-changing technology, it is recommended you speak with your hearing healthcare professional for phone suggestions and assistance with connecting your hearing aid to your mobile and landline devices.

What is a Hearing Aid App?

There is a wide range of hearing aid apps that are designed to help individuals with hearing aids in a variety of ways. Some apps give users the ability to adjust their hearing aid levels, which is a useful tool when going from a loud environment to a quiet one, or vice versa. These apps often allow settings to be saved, so those with hearing aids can easily adjust their levels when returning to their common spaces. Hearing aid apps are also a useful tool for checking on battery levels for rechargeable hearing aids, ensuring users never have to question if they have enough battery life to last through the day.

Some of the most common hearing aid apps are those that connect directly to audio. With these apps, users are able to stream shows, music, phone calls and more straight to their hearing aids. Other apps provide decibel-measuring, which allows users to know how loud their surroundings are. In addition, some apps are designed to help train one’s brain with hearing exercises and keep track of hearing progress. These apps are also beneficial for hearing experts because they provide detailed information that can help determine the best plan of action for one’s hearing journey.

Is There an App for Tinnitus?

Millions of Canadians experience tinnitus, symptoms can range from a minor annoyance to a disrupting of daily life. While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are some apps that can help ease the symptoms, which are often described as a ringing, chirping or buzzing noise in one’s ears. One of the most common treatment methods for tinnitus is sound masking, and there are several apps designed for this, with some compatible with hearing aids. Sound masking works by stimulating your brain and amplifying background noise to cover up the unpleasant sounds of tinnitus. Other apps include educational information about tinnitus, guided meditations, and breathing techniques. If you are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, it is important to meet with a hearing expert to discuss treatment options. An audiologist or Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner (RHIP) will help guide you through your hearing process for an improved quality of life.

What are the Next Steps?

If you are wondering whether your smartphone is compatible with your hearing aids, or you’re searching for an app that works best for your hearing health and lifestyle, a hearing expert will be able to provide detailed information that’s tailored to you. Audiologists and hearing professionals at NexGen Hearing are passionate, dedicated and experienced.

NexGen Hearing offers free hearing tests and hearing aid consultations, hearing aid fittings, leasing options and sales. Book an appointment at one of our 45+ clinics in the BC Interior, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island by clicking here or calling 1-877-606-6671

Board Members Wanted

Comox Valley Senior Support Society is currently recruiting Board Members. If you have a passion for seniors, an interest in working with a collaborative Board, and supporting an active staff team, please contact Chris at admin@comoxvalleyseniorsupportsociety.ca for more information.

Comox Valley Seniors’ Expo Feb. 25

Comox Valley seniors and caregivers won’t want to miss the 2023 Comox Valley Seniors’ Expo, presented by the Village of Cumberland on Saturday, February 25 from 10am-3pm at the Cumberland Cultural Centre. Discover a wide range of supports available to seniors in the Comox Valley, learn about new products or services and connect with friends and neighbours who care about helping local seniors live their best lives. The expo will feature a wide variety of local exhibitors and guest speakers throughout the day, with refreshments available for purchase.

Comox Valley Seniors Resource Guide

Keep your eyes open for a Comox Valley Seniors Resource Guide coming in 2023. 20,000 copies of this spiral bound guide are being created in partnership between Comox Valley Senior Support and Denman and Hornby Community Health Care Services and will be available free of charge.

Feel the Love, Not Your Dentures

Valentine’s “month” is in full swing, and nothing gets in the way of feeling romantic quite like ill-fitting dentures. Properly made dentures will be aesthetically pleasing, look true to life, and operate in such a way that your Valentine shouldn’t notice. If you’ve been cleaning your dentures regularly and having annual checkups with your denturist you should have no reason to worry or to lack confidence. If you feel uncomfortable or think your dentures are the wrong size, go see your denturist. Getting your dentures fitted and lined correctly will help them feel more comfortable on the gum line.

Volunteers Needed at CVSSS

The vital component of most of our programs at CV Senior Support are volunteers! While staff coordinate the pieces to make programs work, it is our incredible volunteers who venture into the community and provide the supports many of our clients depend upon. Volunteering at Comox Valley Senior Support can range from a weekly phone call or in person visit to grocery shopping or assisting seniors to fill out forms and find resources. Volunteers are provided with training and support and opportunities for ongoing education. As our volunteers retire, we need to replace them! If you have an interest in supporting seniors in your community, please contact the office at admin@comoxvalleyseniorsupprt.ca or 250-871-5940 to find out more.

Caregiver Support Group

Did you know that CVSS offers caregivers Support groups? For those providing care for a loved one living with dementia, being able to visit with and seek support from others with similar experiences can be very helpful. You are not alone in the caregiving community. For more information, please call the CVSS office at 250-871-5940 or email at admin@comoxvalleyseniorsupport.ca We are considering launching a Caregiver Support Group in Fanny Bay/Ship’s Point area. In April or May. Please contact the CVSS office of you are interested in attending!

Bringing Mobility to You

Here are some things to consider when looking to purchase a scooter to increase your mobility and gain more independence. 1) Take a test drive – to find the right dimensions and ensure a comfortable ride, it’s important to try some scooters out. 2) Ask for an in-home demo – in-home instruction can help ensure your safety and the correct operation of your scooter. 3) Stay safe – download a free Canada Scooters safety guide and ask your local Canada Scooters shop how the rules of being a pedestrian apply to scooter operators 4) Keep up with maintenance – perform daily maintenance and take your scooter in for regular professional maintenance.

Understanding Dementia

The ageing of human populations across the globe has contributed to dementia being identified as one of the public health issues of the 21st century. The MOOC curriculum addresses this health issue by drawing upon the expertise of neuroscientists, clinicians, and dementia care professionals from both within the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, and beyond. The Wicking Dementia and Research Centre offers free online courses. Based in Tasmania, Australia, these programs use data from around the world to provide excellent information for students. Links to the following course can be found here: https://mooc.utas.edu.au

Income Tax

The Senior Information and Access Services Team will once again be offering its expertise to assist seniors with their taxes! Beginning March 15, the team will be ready to go. Seniors must register with CVSS to access this service (a fast and painless process!). Please contact Chris or Tiss at 250-871-5940 or admin@comoxvalleyseniorsupport.ca to register.

Vulnerable Seniors

There is still a significant period of unpleasant weather ahead this winter. Please think of isolated and vulnerable seniors in your community who may need assistance in inclement weather. If you are unable to assist them yourself, please help them connect with CVSS and we will help them find what they need.