Admission into hospital is an incredibly stressful, scary situation for everyone involved. Thrown completely out of your comfort zone with none of your familiar surroundings or comforts, whilst feeling scared, isolated, and alone on top of being ill and feeling poorly. 

The very least you should be able to expect is to have the courtesy of communication in your normal way. Why is it then that we hear so many reports of lost hearing aids in hospital and a lack of support in helping people manage their hearing whilst in hospital care? 

The problems seem to stem from a lack of interest in and understanding of the importance of hearing aids to the individual. Families will often contact us to report hearing aids have gone missing whilst their loved ones are in the care of the hospital. How can this happen so often? Most people are pretty static whilst in hospital. Their health notes follow them round, which you would hope would state the minimum communication needs of the patient in their charge. And yet this does not seem to be standard practice.  If it were, perhaps we would not have to deal with lost hearing aids in hospital so regularly. 

Hearing loss is a significant factor in the ageing population. Most people in their later years have some degree of hearing loss that requires hearing aids to overcome their hearing issues. This is also the population most likely to require hospital admission. Without hearing aids many people cannot properly function and worse than just ‘not hearing,’ a few days without hearing properly can have a hugely detrimental effect on cognitive state, mood, and general well-being. Families see this all the time with their loved ones. They recognize the importance of their hearing aids and yet they can still find it incredibly difficult to impress upon the hospital how vital the need is to ensure that the patient is wearing their hearing aids as much as possible and that the hearing aids are working correctly and kept safe when not in use. 

Most hospitals have an Audiology Department so the management of hearing aids should not be as challenging as it is found to be. Sadly, the truth of the matter is that hearing issues and hearing aids are rarely given the same level of respect and attention as other crucial factors such as sight, mobility, and other chronic health conditions. It almost goes without saying that without their hearing aids their ability to hear, communicate and comprehend is significantly impeded. It is also a fact that when a person cannot hear for a period of time, and it is unaided, their cognitive state is dramatically impaired and symptoms of dementia much increased. This should put the importance of hearing aids in hospital at the very top of the list of important care needs but sadly, this is rarely the case. 

We feel this is a subject we should explore further, please take time to contact us with your experiences or those of your loved ones. If we can get a handle on this problem, there are lots of easy fixes that could start to make a difference immediately. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and stories with us.