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Hearing loss - where to start?

  • 20-06-2022 4:37pm
    Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    Hi all, my father is gone very hard of hearing. I have made an appointment with Chime but he believes that everything other than the HSE is...not good. Is Chime a good place to start? He also believes that good hearing aids are beyond his budget. He paid PRSI all his life and is a pensioner now. Aren't their grants? Would appreciate some help as it's just me trying to sort some help for him and I'm new to dealing with hearing loss issues. Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭ gipi

    There is a grant of 500 euro towards a hearing aid (so 1000 euro if 2 are needed) through the treatment benefit scheme.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    Is that through PRSI or a HSE grant or is there only the €500 grant towards one hearing aid? Thanks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,613 ✭✭✭ niallb

    Social Welfare Services based on PRSI contributions.

    One €500 grant per ear requiring a hearing device, so if you only need one that's your lot.

    In the case of one ear suffering complete hearing loss, but having a microphone only "aid" to be able to hear from both sides in the good ear, the grant does not apply to the ear that is not being "aided", so only one fee is payable. (Source: My dad received a refusal letter this morning for one!)

    If your needs change you can reapply for the grant to replace a hearing aid after four years have elapsed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    That's pretty dismal assistance after a lifetime of paying tax. Sorry your dad was refused.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,613 ✭✭✭ niallb

    Thanks. He didn't expect to get it, but the request was put through automatically by the clinic. He's in his 90's now and stopped working at around 70 so his own opinion is he shouldn't be asking for that kind of grant after getting his pension for so many years!

    Chime is the national charity for hearing loss and is likely to be the best place to start that's available to you.

    I don't have direct experience with them myself, but have a lot of experience with ChildVision who fulfil a similar role for visual impairment and they do amazing work. The difference in perception of the two could be because hearing loss comes naturally with age while a lot of people with visual problems need help when they're every young.

    My own dad suffered in silence for a number of years because my mum didn't want to be married to a man wearing a hearing aid... He had got to the point where he'd just nod or say yes to people to keep the conversation going and got into some dodgy situations with phone scams and the like. He's much more confident now that he has a clearer idea of what's going on. I plan on getting them earlier myself when I need to after seeing how much of a difference they make. Good luck on the journey. It's not cheap but it makes a huge difference.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    Thanks for that. I'm having trouble getting my father to Chime. Have made a few appts and he keeps coming up with excuses as to why he can't go. It's hard on the person who is hard of hearing but it's also hard on others - I'm practically hoarse with roaring things ten times and then getting a nod or a 'yes' to anything I've said.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,613 ✭✭✭ niallb

    It's worth persevering. Is Chime near anywhere else he might need to go for something else - sneak in two appointments on one day!

    By the way, those are yes'es to what he thinks you've said. Does he know he's agreeing to go to Chime? Write it on a calendar if he's got one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,261 ✭✭✭ Princess Calla

    Where are you based?

    I just went to bonavox on north earl street for mine...can't fault them.

    Specsavers also offer the service.

    My mam went to hidden hearing and customer service wasn't great.

    You'll get 500 off each hearing aid but you can also claim tax back at 20% on what you have paid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    Yes, he has agreed to go to Chime, but when the appointment nears something else crops up. He's convinced that everybody selling hearing aids are all rip off merchants because he says he saw on the tele that hearing aids only cost €30 to produce 😏

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    Thanks - down the country. Chime is the nearest place but it's still a bit of a trip that needs organising.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,613 ✭✭✭ niallb

    Basic hearing aids might cost £30 to produce, but even that price rises when you add features like a pocket remote control so you don't have to fiddle with tiny buttons on your ears.

    The prices are a bit shocking, but a good chunk of it is a set of hearing tests to analyse the individual's hearing response and programming it into the devices.

    My dad had his last set for five years so the per day cost on that is reasonable if you weren't paying it all up front. He only needs a change now because he suddenly lost all the hearing in one ear.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    Thanks. They are an awful price for pensioners (and non pensioners) to have to be paying. Surely, most people at that stage of life don't have a few grand to spare for decent hearing aids. It's pretty sad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,261 ✭✭✭ Princess Calla

    I think if you are eligible for medical card they are free. However like everything the middle earners get squeezed the most.

    Also, house insurance doesn't cover them so you need to be extra careful especially around removing masks so they don't get lost.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,613 ✭✭✭ niallb

    That's true of most items with a value of over €1000 not just hearing aids. They're just not covered by the default policy.

    If you want cover, you can add them to your policy as a specified item.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,261 ✭✭✭ Princess Calla

    I asked mine doesn't cover it, obviously that's not to say that's across the board. So when renewing policy definitely something to consider especially for an elderly person (I'm relatively young).

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,613 ✭✭✭ niallb

    You need to specify the item you want extra cover for when you're renewing. They'll quote you an updated price if they're willing to cover it.

    You've to do the same with a musical instrument or a crazy expensive bicycle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,211 ✭✭✭✭ BorneTobyWilde

    I thought I had hearing issues, could not hear well at all, went to doctor and it was blocked, years of deep wax, one gush of high pressure water issued through a thick plastic syringe into ear canal and out pop the blockage, like a Pea he said. Suddenly I had Superman hearing, I could hear the clock ticking, the internals, from a mile away. Crazy, one extreme to another, it normalized as the natural wax returned.

    So maybe your dad needs ears professional cleaned,

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,129 ✭✭✭✭ looksee

    While in the past I have had my ears syringed with water numerous times, it is not now recommended (for the past 20 years or so). It has potential to do more harm than good if you are unlucky.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 97805

    Thanks. This one isn't a case of wax build up though. There was hearing loss and further hearing loss as a result of chemo.