Here’s why: the controls are too small to be managed by older fingers; they hum or screech during (frequent!) naps; they certainly can’t be left in place overnight. Two ‘amplifier’ units have been tried and lost; she simply cannot manage them.
But there’s some amazing new technology – and the word ‘life-changing’ truly applies in this case. There’s now a tiny hearing aid - about the size of a pencil eraser - which sits comfortably in the ear canal, 24/7. These devices do not ‘whistle’ up against a pillow. You can even shower with them in place.
The catch: they cost $3500 for a pair, and using only one is not advised due to the resulting imbalance and stability issues. Margery has outlived her savings and relies primarily on government support including Medicaid, but Medicaid covers only standard hearing aids. Her immediate family has come up with $1,600 but we have already covered many of her costs and will continue to do so; Medicaid’s personal allowance of about $50 a month doesn’t go very far.
Isn’t it a lot of money, when Margery may not live a lot longer? Perhaps - but nobody can say she won’t. She gets around her residence independently, with a walker. On good days, she can stride down the hall – but she cannot hear a neighbor call out, “Hi, Margery! ” This lifelong social butterfly has difficulty making friends; she simply cannot hear what they are saying. To ‘cover’, she smiles and nods but it’s a hard thing. It gets her down – a lot.
Leaving the audiologist’s office with the hearing aids in place for a test run, she could hear her daughter Anne speaking softly. It’s hard to say whether it was a bigger gift to Margery or to Anne but it was Anne who was in (happy) tears. Not having to speak loudly – which is tiring over several hours – while still having the first reply be “What?”…It was an enormous relief.
It is hard to ask for help with this but the free trial has come to an end. We’d be very, very grateful for any support to keep Margery connected to her surroundings. Please share this fundraising appeal with anyone EXCEPT Margery, who would be distressed to know that her needs have stretched her family’s financial capacity.
Thank you so much, from family and friends of Margery.
(Note: an eldercare attorney has advised that donations to the family-raised fund will not jeopardize Margery's Medicaid eligibility, unlike cash gifts to her.)
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