Too old/infirm to insert aid

A shot in the dark really. my mother who is 97 has recently obtained a hearing aid to fit in ear but due to her poor eyesight and arthritic hands cannot insert it in her ear - and indeed we find it difficult to do so. Is there any simpler (i.e VERY simple) to use or semi-permanent option that can be used to give even a small improvement in hearing so she can again join in with family conversations ?
Anthony White

There is the Lyric or WOW hearing aids. These (made by Phonak) stay in for 3 months at the time, then the audiologist changes them out, then good to go for another 3 months. It depends on the severity of the hearing loss though. Also, many people have trouble with the fit (uncomfortable, painful).

Otherwise a behind the ear (BTE) model might be easier. Most places could still order the older, larger models that might be easier to handle. Also, for older folks they have in the ear models that are called half-shell and full shell. They take up the whole ear (you have seen those I’m sure) and they require much less dexterity.

Let me ask you this, how much time did she spend learning to put it in? It takes some practice to hold it at the right orientation when inserting. Sometimes you have to give it a little twist.

Your audiologist should have some suggestions.

One more thing, Siemens and Rexton have rechargable BTE hearing aids. You just plop the hearing aid into a slot on the charger, close the lid and it charges overnight. The body of the hearing aid has the contacts for charging, so you never have to open the hearing aid and replace the battery. Besides just putting the hearing aid in and taking it out, there is the battery issue to deal with, the hearing aid should be cleaned every day, and it should go in a dryer every night (a hearing aid dryer made just for drying moisture in a hearing aid).

Is it a hearing aid that fills up the entire ear (full shell)? These are usually the easiest to insert…if you are struggling to get it in as well then it might be too tight of a fit. Also, sometime a part at the top that inserts behind a piece of cartilage (the helix) causes a lot of difficulty with insertion and can be uncomfortable for the wearer. Something custom made is, in general, going to be easier to insert than something semi-permanent. The Lyric aid is an option however it has a fairly high price-tag and her hearing loss may be beyond it’s fitting limits. I’d go back to the professional that provided them and see if they can remake the aid for easier insertion and have them work with her and you in the office until you figure out a way for her to get it in on her own.

I have patients that are nearly blind with arthritic hands that can, with practice, insert hearing aids so I have hope for your mom.

I probably wouldn’t go with an extended wear device for her situation. I think your best bet is to get her in to a Full Shell ITE, with zero buttons to fiddle with. Have her dispenser deactivate these (volume control, what not). In terms of ease of use, the ITE style is almost always the easiest for people to use, and it’s what I fit if I think someone is going to have a particularly rough time handling them.

Another option is a Pocketalker device with headphones.

is your mother useing a private aid or national health .i would of thought somebody could pop it in for her .its great if she is willing to use it .and believes its going to work .cant believe nobody can put it in … alan