Health care doesn’t come cheap and for older Australians those costs can quickly add up due to the increasing number of serious health conditions later in life.
One of the first signs of ageing is a change in our hearing quality, which slowly starts to deteriorate due to general wear and tear over the years.
While many people worry about the costs involved in managing hearing changes, there are a range of free services available through organisations such as Australian Hearing that ensure everyone has access to vital hearing services without having to pay an arm and a leg.
Here are some of the free services available with Australian Hearing.
Free hearing checkups for everyone over 18
If you’re over 18 years old you can visit your nearest Australian Hearing centre for a hearing check at no cost.
A hearing check takes less than five minutes and is a simple way to measure the sounds you can or can’t hear. Depending on your results, Australian Hearing will advise you on whether you need to take further action. As hearing loss is a gradual process you may be asked to monitor your hearing over time and continue having regular check-ups.
If your hearing loss is already moderate to severe, an audiologist may recommend that you begin to use a hearing amplifier or hearing aid.
Mobile hearing checks
The Australian Hearing bus travels the country offering free hearing checks for adults and raising hearing health awareness amongst communities.
This year, the famed blue-and-white bus will cover up to 300,000 kilometres, visit over 2,000 venues, and offer over 7,000 free hearing checks in rural and regional towns around the country.
No appointment is necessary, so you can jump on board whenever the bus rolls into your area and receive your free hearing check.
Trail the XTM amplifier
The XTM is a hearing device that offers relief to those who have hearing loss but not quite ready for a hearing aid.
The tiny device, which includes similar technology to that found in some of today’s hearing aids, sit comfortably inside the ear, making it near invisible.
While the device is affordable (the XTM retails for $349), many people understandably want to try before they buy.
Australian Hearing offers free trials of the XTM at their hearing centres. An audiologist will fit you with the device and take you through the different functions and settings so you can feel comfortable and confident before making a decision.
Chat with an audiologist online
If you have a hearing question, but can’t make it into a centre, you can ask an audiologist at Australian Hearing‘s online audiology support service Hearing Help.
The online support line allows you to speak to an audiologist during business hours without having to leave the house or wait on hold on the phone.
No question is too big or too small. An audiologist will answer your questions and advise you on the next best step for you.
Outreach services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Australian Hearing works with over 220 communities in urban, rural and remote areas across the country to provides a range of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Hearing aid fitting and support for adults, babies and children
- Support for schools where many children have hearing problems
- Hearing health meetings with community members
- Hearing health training for healthcare workers
What else can I do?
Our hearing is a vital part of good health and an important tool when it comes to communicating with loved ones and staying social later in life, but many people let it fall by the wayside.
Yet most people wait for seven years after first noticing changes to their hearing before they get tested.
If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, call Australian Hearing or contact them online to speak to an audiologist and ensure your hearing health for years to come.
Have you had your hearing tested? Have you noticed changes in your hearing over the years?