by Brian Taylor, AuD, Editor-at-Large
Somewhere tucked away in the bottom of the box of your newly purchased gadget, wrapped in a thin plastic membrane, almost impossible to open without a sharp object, is the owner’s manual. If you’re like me, you have a drawer full of owner’s manuals, some that go back to the cool 5-disc CD player you bought in 1992.
Hearing aids have owner’s manuals, too. As you probably know, the FDA requires every hearing aid sold in the US come with an owner’s manual. Although technical in nature, a good hearing aid owner’s manual help patient change/recharge their batteries, insert and remove the devices from their ears and even provide some handy tips on what to expect from a new pair of hearing aids.
Even a useful hearing aid owner’s manual, like that 30-year-old 5-disc CD player manual, end up in a drawer…. or the garbage.
Living Skillfully with Hearing Loss
Now, hearing aid wearers and clinicians have access to an owner’s manual of a different sort, one that focuses on the person instead of the technology. Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss, by Shari Eberts and Gael Hannan is divided into six quick reading topics that focus on what it is like to live with hearing loss. Filled with tons of insights, their book should remind clinicians of what persons with communication deficits experience each day.
Shari and Gael, two prolific HHTM bloggers, have created a book that should be a staple accessory that accompanies every new hearing aid fitting.
The authors have a knack for writing in a relatable way that engages the reader. Beginning with five stages of the journey and ending with ‘hearing hacks” that can be used to communicate more effectively in a variety of situations, the book captures the spirit of person-centered communication and how the person with hearing loss and the professional need to work alongside each other.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the book are the four short chapters titled, Mindshifts. In these chapters, Shari and Gael lay bare the emotional burden of hearing loss and how people can better understand and cope with the emotions associated with hearing loss.
Clinicians who pride themselves on person centered care will find the book a necessary piece of their deliverables to hearing aid wearers and prospective wearers alike. Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss needs to become required reading for any individual who might be considering hearing aids or embarking on the journey of simply better understanding their hearing loss.
This owner’s manual is sure to get a lot of use. In a time when we all need heroes, Shari Eberts and Gael Hannan are the People’s Champion.