Get organised: useful tips for parents of children with hearing loss
Published: 6/27/2023 3:56:42 AM
When your child has a hearing loss, there’s a lot to stay on top of. From appointments to paperwork, medical terminology and hearing aid parts, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.
With that in mind, we asked members of our Paediatric Program Advisory Committee (PPAC) how they get organised. Here are the tips they swear by.
Nikki Pearse: Daughter diagnosed with a hearing loss at six years old
- Keep reference numbers like your child’s hospital registration number, health care card number and Hearing Australia client number as ‘contacts’ in your phone.
- Scan and retain electronic copies of all paperwork. Make sure you update and file everything when you get home from an appointment so it’s up-to-date next time.
- Write a summary of dates, appointments and results in plain English, not ‘medical speak’. This helps you absorb the information and easily explain it to others.
- Graph audiogram results for each ear on a colour-coded plot. The visual makes it easy to directly compare results and get a clear picture of progress.
Rachael Rayner: Hearing Australia client from eight months old, now 24
- Keep all your hearing aid parts, listening devices, chargers, spare clips, instruction manuals, cleaners and spare batteries in one place.
- Pop a sealable container in your beach bag or hand bag for storing and protecting hearing aids.
- Carry spare batteries in your wallet, toiletry bag or handbag.
Michael Bock: Son diagnosed with hearing loss at three months old
- Create a medical binder with separate sections for each medical issue and tabs for major categories like audiograms, Hearing Australia letters, doctors’ reports and equipment information. This makes the information very easy to show medical practitioners, special education coordinators or audiologists.
- Develop a routine for battery changes and set recurring appointments in your phone calendar. At every change, clean the moulds and do a test.
- Save your most recent ear mould. If a hearing aid gets lost and you need loan aids, you can be up and running straight away with a mould that works.
- Label your hearing aids with, “If found, contact [mobile number]”.
- Bring a list of written questions to your Hearing Australia appointment so you don’t forget everything you want to discuss. This is especially useful if there’s only one person attending.
The most important thing is to find the solutions that work best for you and your family, and to seek support when you need it. Your audiologist will also be able to provide tips for understanding all the information you’re given and keeping on top of appointments.