Hearing Aids in BC: What supports are available for low income seniors to get hearing aids?
What supports are available for low income seniors to get hearing aids?
Products mentioned in our answer below are provided to inform you about the types of technologies available and have not been evaluated by CanAssist. They may or may not be appropriate for your particular situation. Some technologies and devices may require an in-person assessment. Speak with your health care provider for additional information and support.
Your question is an important one that is raised by many people as they get older.
HealthLink BC – the free provincial health line and website – has posted articles on hearing loss and hearing aids that are a great starting point. Here is an excerpt:
If you think you have a hearing problem and are thinking about getting hearing aids, see your health care provider. If your health care provider thinks you may need hearing aids, another type of specialist (audiologist) can help determine what type of hearing aid will work best for you. The audiologist will pick a hearing aid based on the type and how much hearing loss you have and other factors.
Hearing aids differ in how they look, what size they are, where they are placed in the ear, and how much they can amplify sounds. You can wear hearing aids behind your ear, in your outer ear, in your ear canal or completely implanted in the ear. The kind of hearing aid you choose depends on many things, including your degree of hearing loss, your doctor or audiologist's advice, and what kind of hearing aid you want.
You can also contact HealthLink by phone – any time of the day or night, every day of the year – at 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or 7-1-1 for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Other sources of information and support for British Columbians with hearing loss include:
- Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a non-profit organization which offers hearing aid clinics in your area (Vancouver) and sells hearing aids. For information, see their Hearing Aids webpage.
- Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (BC Chapter) is another non-profit that provides information, support and resources to people with hearing challenges.
- Lion's Gate offers hearing aid support to their members. You can find your nearest club house here.
- WorkSafeBC offers support for hearing loss resulting from exposure to long-term cccupational noise.
- If you are employed, self-employed or retired, and have paid the required number of PRSI contributions, HearingLife offers a government grant to fund your hearing aid.
See BC Association of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Infographic on more funding options and what to consider when purchasing a hearing aid.