Community News
Fear of Falls Causes Unsafe Behavior

Someone who is fearful of falls, may start to avoid everyday activities by staying home and doing less. This lack of activity leads to the loss of strength, reduced muscle tone, and loss of coordination and balance. This deterioration of your physical being increases the risk of falling and, when a fall does occur, the fear is further heightened. Turn your fear of falling into positive actions: remain active, exercise regularly, use assistive devices such as walkers or grab bars, wear sensible shoes and consider participating in a group session with others who are anxious about falling.

Single-Event Sports Betting

The CBC article, “Conservative MP says the Saskatchewan government has ‘dropped the ball’ on single-event sports betting, featured Waugh’s Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act”. Bill C-218, passed by the Canadian Senate and received Royal Assent in June 2021, came into force in August 2021. The legislation allows provinces and territories to conduct and manage single-event betting on any sporting event except horse racing. In November, the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) announced that BC residents had placed more than $25 million in single-event sports bets within two months of the legalization. If you run into trouble, support is available. ( )

I just got diagnosed with hearing loss.  Now what?

You’ve finally taken a hearing test and found out that you do in fact have a hearing loss. The diagnosis is official and you need hearing aids. Now what?

It can be difficult to come to terms with this type of diagnosis, and even a bit scary. The good news is that with proper care from a good audiologist or registered hearing professions such as a RHIP, the transition is worthwhile.

Coming to terms with the diagnosis

When an individual first receives a hearing loss diagnosis, it can take up to seven years before they start seeking treatment.

Many people struggle to accept the diagnosis as there might be personal reasons holding them back from treatment.

There are several risks of untreated hearing loss such as mental fatigue, poor emotional well-being and safety hazards, especially after long periods of time without treatment.

It’s important to avoid further consequences and recognize that treatment is a way to improve your quality of life. You can be more involved with your loved ones, recognize important sounds around you and effectively function better on your own.

Although it may seem frightening, expensive, or difficult to accept – treatment can benefit you greatly.

Audiologists and hearing health professionals at NexGen Hearing work with you to find the best treatment plan for your needs and help you receive the most effective hearing experience possible.

Getting your first hearing aids

Those with sensorineural hearing loss are typically treated with hearing aids. Since technology has advanced dramatically in recent years, hearing aids are more effective than ever with various brands offering unique experiences.

Before making recommendations, your audiologist or hearing health professional will conduct a formal needs assessment to address specific lifestyle needs outside of your hearing abilities.

They will learn about your social life, career, hobbies, budget, the style of hearing aids you like and more. All the information uncovered will help them tailor a hearing aid recommendation.

Your lifestyle and environment matter when it comes to selecting a hearing aid. Some people enjoy loud social gatherings so they need a hearing aid that can block out unnecessary background sound. Others may frequently spend time watching TV, so a hearing aid with excellent Bluetooth capabilities would be the most helpful.

Once a specific model is chosen, the hearing aid is ordered and you are booked in for a fitting. This appointment will introduce you to your new devices, ensure the hearing aid is comfortable and program the devices to your prescription.

There are several follow-up appointments around a week apart to fine-tune your hearing aid programs based on your feedback. Some patients might need certain sounds lowered or others increased to hear better.

In order to provide feedback that will improve your hearing aid programming, the hearing aids must be worn regularly so you can adapt to the hearing aids and new sound environment.

The goal is to make the transition easy for each individual so they can adjust to the hearing aids at their own pace. In some cases, patients need time to get used to the louder sounds because it can be overwhelming at first.

By moving as slowly or quickly as needed, you can get accustomed to the new sound environment comfortably and eventually reaching your prescription level.

Also during these appointments, you will receive education on all of the necessary hearing aid care such as how to charge them, properly clean and change their filters, connect to Bluetooth, warranty and more.

Your audiologist or hearing health professional is there to answer your questions, provide support throughout the experience and ensure you are getting the most out of your hearing aids.

Once all of the follow-up appointments are completed and you are happy with your hearing aids, you can go back to life as normal with support from your hearing clinic.

The next steps

The hearing aid journey doesn’t stop at the fitting and programming at NexGen Hearing Clinic. It continues throughout life as you navigate the world with hearing loss and hearing aids.

Always available and willing to help, the clinic provides support to its patients for as long as needed from quarterly check-ups to walk-ins with a hearing or hearing aid problem needing to be solved.

That being said, the best part about completing the fitting and programming stage is how your new hearing aids integrate into your day-to-day life.

Amplifying the sounds you struggle to hear and creating a fuller listening experience, the hearing aids improve your quality of life.

They become a tool for your success so you can hear the things you used to miss, feel more comfortable in situations that used to make it difficult to hear and gain confidence.

If you notice odd sounds, tech issues or other problems, NexGen Hearing Clinic’s front door is always open to help patients and provide support as they accumulate to live with hearing aids.

Are you looking to treat your hearing loss?

Audiologists and hearing professionals at NexGen Hearing are passionate, dedicated and experienced. They are here to support you on your journey to better hearing and help you experience an improved quality of life through exceptional care.

Patients are welcomed at over 45 clinics in the BC Interior, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

To find a clinic near you and book an appointment, click here or call 1-877-606-6671.

Stay Active and Keep Growing

People who reside in our independent living community don’t think of themselves as old folks. Residents are artists, writers, photographers and learners, exploring and discovering new things every day. Aging is inevitable; growing old is a choice. Resident, Janet Lancey wrote about the label old. In Janet’s words, “Age is not a number, and it has nothing to do with appearance or status. It is, indeed, how you choose to lead your life”. Janet emphasizes the importance of grasping opportunities to keep growing, learning, and helping others gain better lives. Residents are encouraged to participate in an array of activities.

Plan for the Future

For many of us, September seems like the start of a new year after a couple of months of fun and relaxation. As summer draws to a close, we plan for the seasons ahead. It is a perfect time to pre-plan our funeral. Pre-planning final arrangements brings a measure of certainty to the most uncertain time of our life. It reduces the financial burden on our loved ones in their time of distress. No matter at which stage of life you are in, you can gain comfort in knowing your plans are ready. Please request our free estate planning kit today.

Principles of Happier Aging™

We want to change the perceptions of aging. We believe that getting older doesn’t have to feel sad or helpless; instead, aging is something worth celebrating. As Atul Gawande wrote in his book, Being Mortal, “Our ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death but a good life to the very end”. Through our principles of Choice, Belonging, Respect, Autonomy and Purpose, we live Happier Aging. Happier Aging, at home, is our philosophy of care: for our clients, their families, our people and everyone we meet.

Why Do Seniors Become Tutors?

The opportunity to impact lives and give back to the community are two reasons why seniors become volunteer tutors. Volunteer Tutor David shares his thoughts about tutoring: “It’s very easy to hibernate when you’re retired. I know many colleagues who did exactly that. Wanting to avoid that, I looked for something useful to do, and tutoring fills that need very well. Tutoring is very rewarding. It is wonderful to see a learner suddenly grasp a language concept that they should have learned in school, but never did.” Please contact us for information on becoming a tutor.

Senior Summer Safety Tips

Skin cancer is one of the most common and preventable forms of cancer. Apply SPF of at least 30 to 50—every two to four hours you are outdoors or riding in a car. Routinely wearing a quality pair of sunglasses protects the eyes from cataracts, a condition common among older adults. Look for a pair with a label showing they block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. As we grow older, the body doesn’t adjust to changes in temperature and humidity as quickly as in younger days. This puts seniors at higher risk for dehydration and sun-related illnesses, like heat stroke – so make sure to keep hydrated!

Time to Celebrate Women

The Women’s Expo is all about empowerment, wellbeing, pampering, fashion, friends and fun. It is a real celebration of Women complete with wall-to-wall carpets and chandeliers. Lots of great things to explore at the Women’s Expo with over 100 exhibitors showcasing their products and services. The 4th Annual Women’s Expo features wellness seminars, demonstrations, shopping, prizes and fashion shows. The Expo is FREE to attend. Plan to be at the largest Women’s Expo on Vancouver Island taking place in Nanaimo on September 23 and 24th. See the Expo website for Exhibitor Opportunities and information.

Blockchain and Online Gambling

Blockchain is a method of tracking transactions using a public, globally-distributed ledger. It is most commonly used for cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. Blockchain automatically and securely keeps a historical record, or ledger, of all transactions; working across a network of computers, cryptocurrencies can operate without a central authority. It is already revolutionizing online gambling and is now emerging in video games. For example, an emerging trend in gaming culture is the integration of cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs allow blockchain to issue one-of-a-kind digital assets with unique attributes, meaning that players can acquire securely stored in-game assets. (Source: IntentaDigital

Tips for Finding a Good Audiologist

Hearing or balance problems can be uncomfortable to experience when you don’t know what is happening. The uncertainty and fear are one of the worst parts of wondering if there is a solution or if it might be a serious problem.

That is why it’s important to find an audiologist that you can trust will have your best interests at heart.

Use this guide to navigate finding a good audiologist that’s experienced, possesses good qualities that make you feel comfortable, and is the right fit for you. It’s essential

for finding the right diagnosis and long-term solutions to improve your quality of life.

What is an audiologist?

An audiologist is an expert with a vast amount of training, knowledge, and tools needed to diagnose and treat patients of all ages with varying levels of hearing loss.

Using advanced technology and tests to understand the cause of a patient’s hearing problem, if it’s permanent or curable, and its severity, audiologists work with them to determine the best course of treatment.

They can help or assess tinnitus, balance disorders, Hyperacusis and Misophonia as well as drastically improve your hearing with hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.

Typically, once a patient’s hearing tests are completed and it’s determined that assistive technology is needed for treatment, audiologists recommend the best hearing aids based on their unique needs, lifestyle, and prescription.

Audiologists program the hearing aids to align with their patient’s preferences and prescription and teach them how to properly care for their new technology. Several follow-up appointments are often scheduled to ensure the patient likes how the hearing aids sound, fit, and function. This time is also used to provide much-needed support, troubleshoot any areas of struggle and answer questions.

Good audiologists put time and effort into ensuring each patient’s experience with hearing aids is positive, they follow up, build a relationship and continue to provide excellent hearing care.

You want to ensure that you find an audiologist who is experienced, has the skill to provide effective solutions for your unique situation, and can answer your questions. It’s even more useful if they are up to date on industry insight from new or upcoming technology or findings from studies.

What Credentials Does an Audiologist Hold?

Many audiologists have their Master of Science in Audiology (M.Sc.), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner (RHIP), Registered Audiologist with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC (RAUD), and in some cases, further education.

In Canada, regulations require an audiologist to hold a Master’s degree or a doctorate in audiology. BC further regulates audiologists by requiring them to be registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC (CSHBC) in order to practice and provide services.

We recommend visiting the CSHBC website’s public register to confirm the audiologists you’re researching are in good standing with the College and have obtained the proper certifications.

Are there qualities I should look for?

Getting hearing aids can be an overwhelming process for individuals, especially those who have never used them before. An audiologist who is understanding, knowledgeable, and dedicated to helping you get the best hearing experience possible can make the process much more enjoyable.

Trustworthiness is one of the most important qualities needed for a good relationship and outcome. You need to be able to trust that your audiologist and clinic are committed to providing the best treatment care and outcome, as well as listening to your concerns, needs, and goals for your hearing.

Audiologists that are also genuine, empathetic, and compassionate towards the struggles you face and comfort levels throughout the process are able to provide outstanding care.

In addition, good audiologists tailor the experience to each patient and provide ongoing support. If you are feeling nervous or hesitant, finding an audiologist who is happy to move at a pace you are most comfortable with is incredibly helpful.

“I always tell patients that the journey doesn’t end at the hearing aid fitting. We are here to help them for as long as they need,” says Stephanie Sykes, audiologist and clinic owner of NexGen Hearing Penticton and Summerland BC.

We recommend looking for these qualities when meeting with audiologists. Do they give you the time you need? Are they compassionate? Do you trust that they have your best interests at heart?

Most people can recognize whether an audiologist is genuine or ingenuine from the first meeting or through word of mouth. Ensure you feel comfortable working with them and that they care about your wellbeing.

What do other people say about them?

It is good practice to see what other people are saying about the audiologists you are looking into.

If there are people in your life who have hearing loss and have received service from an audiologist, consider asking for their opinion. Learning about a trusted friend’s experience with an audiologist is a good indicator of whether or not you should take the next step and book an appointment.

Many patients leave honest, online reviews for clinics and audiologists. With a critical eye, read through the messages left by current or past patients who have similar needs to learn about their experiences.

You can also browse a hearing clinic’s website for more information on the services provided, their guiding principles on patient care, biographies about audiologists, and more. It’s a good way to get to know the hearing clinic and its team members better before pursuing its services.

Are you looking for a good audiologist?

Most individuals don’t pursue treatment for hearing loss until about 5 years after a diagnosis. Living with untreated hearing loss can pose a variety of risks such as mental fatigue, poor emotional wellbeing, and dangerous falls.

It’s very important to seek treatment for a better quality of life, but it’s just as crucial to choose a good audiologist who will provide excellent treatment and a positive experience.

Audiologists and hearing professionals at NexGen Hearing are passionate, dedicated, and experienced. They are here to support you on your journey to better hearing and help you experience an improved quality of life through exceptional care.

At NexGen Hearing, appointments, hearing aid supplies, and minor repairs are free of charge because every patient is valued and welcomed for as long as they need.

Patients are welcomed at over 45 clinics in the BC Interior, Lower Mainland, and Vancouver Island. To find a clinic near you and book an appointment, click here or call 1-877-606-6671.