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Reply with quote  #1 
So, Mom (who is 91) has been complaining of hearing loss. Three years ago, I took her for evaluation (free, of course) and there was substantial hearing loss. But she was still living independantly and in charge of everything and she walked when she knew the price.

Longer story is that she's been trying to use her BIL's old hearing aids (he passed more than 15 years ago.) They're not made for her at all. And it's been getting worse. So, Mom Asked Me to take her to a place she got a "coupon" for (Beltone if you want to know), and I made an appointment. Took her there and, as the observer, understood all that the Dr. was saying. She can process, just needs volume.

Asked Mom what she thought she should pay, and agreed on a price. What she doesn't know is that I already negotiated the price and I thought it was a fair deal, because she really needs these. Now, here is where I flat-out-lied.  The hearing aids will be $2,700. I paid half (deposit), so she will only see that "she" is paying $1,350 out-of-pocket. And I told her that her insurance kicked in $200--not true.

I think she's going to be amazed at how much better she can hear. She's of the Depression Era mentality that you can't spend any money or waste anything.  So, am I evil for lying to her?
Reply with quote  #2 
No, not evil at all! You secretly gifted her a set of hearing aids. There is nothing wrong with helping her live out the rest of her life enjoying the gift of hearing.
Reply with quote  #3 

Good for you!  Mom's hearing loss was a multiple of problems.. Some were huge wax build up and were painfull to clear by the time I was involved, part was her TIAs, 


Yes, I bribed her with hearing her grand daughter's voice, being able to sit on the porch and hear the birds sing...etc. All of that worked.

Nonetheless, no matter how advanced the hearing device might be, it is going to fall short of what they expect.  It isn't the same as ":hearing".. still it is better than NOT hearing.  FIL never wears his "aids". I sort of understand this, but his children really don't. They think if he will wear them, he should be fine. Not so. Many folks with "hearing aids" experience a different  hearing.  tinny, screeching, selective.  

And you pay upfront and then beg for adjustments???

Reply with quote  #4 
I've done it, M, and have gotten where it doesn't bother me. When mother needs something and I know she'll freak about the price, I lie. Tell her what I know she thinks it should cost and move on. I think you're just being practical and kind.
Reply with quote  #5 
BC, no I didn't pay upfront and then ask for adjustments. Before I went, I asked Mom what she thought a fair price was. Then I went there in person to make the appointment and explain that we couldn't talk about the final price in front of Mom. I already knew from research and her prior hearing evals the range I will willing to pay and what was reasonable.

We'd already tried the over-the-counter volume type things, but they're crap. So, while Mom was in the booth after the eval (and I was right there and understood exactly what was going on), the Dr. quoted me the price, which was actually a bit less than I was expecting. Then, while he was doing the fitting/molding part, I excused myself to use the ladie's room, and that's when I paid the deposit (Merry Christmas Mom!)

And Dr. said he'd "check the insurance" and call me later in the day. Well, as you imagine Mom called me about 6 times until I finally told her I'd heard, and that's when I flat-out lied. She seemed comfortable with what I told her.

And yeah, it's not going to be like she used to hear, but it's got to be better than what it is now! Oh, and there is a 30 day money-back guarantee, and one year's worth of loss insurance included.
Also, yearly follow-ups are free as well.

And thank you Prodigal, for your vote of confidence! <3 Sometimes we just need to do what we need to do!

Oh, and I've got to say I thought Beltone was very professional, understanding, discreet and accomodating. So far, I'd recommend. I'll update after she gets them.

Thank you!!!!
Reply with quote  #6 
I am following this thread due to my own worsening hearing issues. Battery life was a problem for my dad when he had hearing aids, we used a solar charger to extend their life. What a pain.

Please read the following reviews of Beltone, it appears the battery issue is still a problem, although one woman writes positively about Ray-O-Vac batteries.
Kat W.
Reply with quote  #7 
M, I've done it too. I lied to my Nmom and said her new room in AL was half the cost of the IL apartment she and my father had shared. In fact, it's more, due to the level of care. But she would have gone ballistic if she knew the truth - she had been making a scene about the cost of IL for months - and she really needed to be in the memory care AL.

I hate to lie, but sometime you have to do whatever works.
Reply with quote  #8 
Update!!! So, I took Mom to get her new hearing aids yesterday. She and I went into the office where she LOUDLY complained about how long it took to get them (two weeks, and it's holiday season), and that they better honor the "satisfaction gauranteed" poster on the wall.

Well, I knew the ones she was trying to use were useless. Amazing results. She's now complaining to me that she can hear herself shuffle her feet, she can hear herself going to the bathroom (tinkle) and she can hear other things she hasn't heard in years. I told her it's like the first time you get bifocals, you feel as if you'll fall down the stairs, but in a short time you don't know how you lived without them!

We go back in a week for adjustments. As you know, it's a personal process and we can go back as many times as we need. That's why you can't buy these things on-line or at wally-world and such.

Oh, and she saw me write the check for the remaining balance and asked if I'd given a deposit. I lied again and said no. She still complained about the price (someone she talked to had told her that they paid $800). 

I thought Beltone was a good experience. Not anymore expensive than anyone else. And personal and caring. We can return them within 30 days if she doesn't want them (can't see that happening), and they come with one year insurance against loss. I'd recommend. Oh yeah, and he also gave us a year's supply of batteries!
Reply with quote  #9 
There are some, if person doesn't have the funds that can buy through catalogs that just amplify volume, better than nothing.
Reply with quote  #10 
Hope your mom adapts better than mine did with the hearing aids!  Doc told her that her hearing loss was not something that could be "fixed" and the aids would only help a little.  They had a full money back guarantee and she hemmed and hawed and asked me "should I get them".  I told her go ahead.  If she gets them she won't like them and bring them back, but if she don't get them, all I'll hear is how she "should have given them a try at least".  She got them, and yes, she could hear better...but now she could hear lots of things she didn't want to the air conditioner blowing and the traffic noise downtown, etc.  So, yes we took them back.  That was 3 years ago, and now she's been hinting about needing hearing aids again...only I choose not to react to the hints.  I think she got Belltone, also, and although expensive, I felt like they really went out of their way to provide great aids and great service...too bad they had to waste their time with my dear old Mom!  They just don't make hearing aids to cater to selective hearing!
Reply with quote  #11 
Daphne, I completely understand. Yes, selective hearing is an issue (was with my kids too! LOL) Mom refused them a few years ago.

Update We went back for an adjustment today, and the Dr. (yes, he is) tuned them down just a bit. As I knew, she hadn't heard many things for many years, and at first it's a bit overwhelming. But I no longer have to SHOUT. And we can go back as often as we wish. It was interesting when Dr. went to adjust and came back and he and I were talking in normal voices and Mom said "I can't hear you". And then he put them back in and we were still talking in normal voices. Mom could hear us talk normally!!!  

Mom still has problems with background noise. She can hear herself breathe (is that a bad thing?) I don't think I'll allow her to return them. I'm much happier. She'll always be NMom. 

Many huge hugs to y'all. I don't think I was wrong at all.  
Reply with quote  #12 
M, you were not wrong at all. What you told her was (after all) all that SHE paid. For Mom it wasn't about volume. Sort of like Daphne's situation.  Some of Mom's hearing problem was in the brain from TIAs. The set she had for the last 2 years of her life were digital and volume control behind the ear. (and the set was over $5,000 5 years ago). We couldn't help her macular degeneration, so we really did try to keep her hearing. 

 She couldn't handle them alone. I could watch her face and tell when they needed up or down. The digital adjustments were done at the office but the last year, I couldn't get her in and out of the booth for test. I never told her what they cost. I know that I sat beside her for her only living grandchild's (my niece) wedding and watched her face so that I could turn them up for the pastor and down for the soloist.  She got to hear the vows. Priceless. 

Before, I didn't mean that we paid up front exactly. We paid a deposit and paid the rest on delivery. We did have a hard time getting appointments for adjustments, though. Part of that was Mom's own limitations .  We weren't getting ANY WHERE before 10:30 AM. Just not happening. 

I am glad to hear of your good results. 

Reply with quote  #13 
BTW, it isn't lying. It is creative dissimulation.

For the second, which is dissimulation; it followeth many times upon secrecy, by a necessity; so that he that will be secret, must be a dissembler in some degree. For men are too cunning, to suffer a man to keep an indifferent carriage between both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance on either side. They will so beset a man with questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him, that, without an absurd silence, he must show an inclination one way; or if he do not, they will gather as much by his silence, as by his speech. As for equivocations, or oraculous speeches, they cannot hold out long. So that no man can be secret, except he give himself a little scope of dissimulation; which is, as it were, but the skirts or train of secrecy.
Reply with quote  #14 
What makes no sense to me is that people who are supposed to be managing and caring for our elders make it so hard on the families. With new technology hearing aids should be easy enough to address right at the facility or right at home.

Several companies sell the software so that an aid can be programmed in house on a computer. You would think a facility would buy the most common hearing aids' software and offer an adjustment clinic every week, cycling through different manufacturers.

It makes no sense to me that we accept such a high initial dollar cost for an item that will be useless because few have the wherewithal to keep up the maintenance or make trips to offices for adjustments.

America Hears is one of the companies offering software for DIY programming.

Reply with quote  #15 
I love my Dad, and in spite of his not wanting to spend any money, I got him some behind the ear aids.  Prior to that he was wearing an aid that had belonged to my Grandmother, and had been molded to fit her ear, because he would not spend the money to get his own aids. Then he bought aids that were always being sent away to be repaired, that he paid a hefty yearly maintenance agreement for. The ones I bought him were a Godsend, and he wore them all the time.

Sadly, in his Al, Dad never wears his aids, because somehow $5K per month is apparently not enough payment for a daily reminder to put in his hearing aids, let alone change the batteries for him once a week. I think his quality of life has so deteriorated because of not being able to hear, but all they can say is "I am sorry", and "You need to talk to the manager."  The manager says if I am not happy with the care, I need to find Dad somewhere else to live.

By the way, I really tried hard to keep up with reminding Dad in a daily call, but he really needs help because his hands shake due to Parkinson's, and needs help which he refuses to ask the aides for. I hope there is a place in He** for the people operating or working in these AL's. The owners of these places must search high and low for employees with no heart and no conscience being the only requirements for the jobs there.

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