Hearing aids for pensioners can help improve their quality of life. Hearing loss is a common problem for the aging population because the inner ear (cochlea) gradually deteriorates over time due to natural wear and tear or exposure to loud noises over the years. This deterioration can cause a reduction in the number of sensory hair cells in the cochlea, which are responsible for detecting sound vibrations and transmitting them to the brain.
As a result, the aging population may experience a variety of hearing-related issues, including difficulty hearing conversations, trouble understanding speech in noisy environments, or even hearing a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus). Additionally, certain health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and medications that are commonly used by older adults, can also contribute to hearing loss.
Since hearing loss can have a significant impact on the daily lives of the aging population, it is crucial to address the issue early and seek appropriate interventions such as hearing aids. By doing so, older adults can better maintain their quality of life, social connections, and overall health.
Choosing the right hearing aid
Choosing the right hearing aids can significantly improve the quality of life for pensioners who have hearing loss. Here are some factors to consider when selecting hearing aids for pensioners:
- Severity of hearing loss: The degree of hearing loss will determine the type and power of hearing aids required. The hearing healthcare professional can recommend the most suitable option based on the degree of hearing loss.
- Lifestyle and personal preferences: The type of hearing aids that will be the most comfortable and practical will depend on the pensioner’s lifestyle and personal preferences. For example, if the pensioner enjoys outdoor activities, like golf, wind noise can be a major factor, compared to a quiet setting like a church.
- Ease of use: Simple and user-friendly hearing aids may be the best option for those who are not tech-savvy or have limited dexterity. Additionally, hearing aids with wireless connectivity or remote controls can make adjustments easier for the user.
- Affordability: The cost of hearing aids can vary widely, so it is essential to consider the available budget. Some hearing aids may be covered by medical aid, so it is worth checking with the provider. You may also be able to claim this back from SARS.
- Reliability: Choosing reputable hearing aid manufacturers and models can improve the reliability and longevity of the hearing aids.
Our friendly and professional audiologists can provide a proper hearing test and recommend the most appropriate hearing aids based on the degree of hearing loss and other factors. We will help pensioners choose the right hearing aids that are both effective and practical for their individual needs.
Did you know: SARS provides Additional Medical Expenses Tax Credit for Hearing impairment?
SARS offers an additional medical expenses tax credit to individuals with disabilities. For tax purposes, a disability is defined as: “a moderate to severe limitation of any person’s ability to function or perform
daily activities as a result of a physical, sensory, communication, intellectual or mental impairment, if
the limitation (a) has lasted or has a prognosis of lasting more than a year; and (b) is diagnosed by a duly registered medical practitioner in accordance with criteria prescribed by the Commissioner.
They further refer to Amplification and loop systems specifically designed to assist hearing and other assistive listening devices to be used by a person who has a hearing impairment (including
related accessories). This means that most individuals who use hearing aids will meet the requirements set by SARS, even in cases where hearing loss is only mild. This is a great initiative to provide hearing aids for pensioners in South Africa.
How do I claim for these benefits?
You can claim the qualifying medical expenses when you submit the income tax return (ITR12) for the relevant year of assessment.
Please ensure that you have an ITR-DD form that has been completed in full in order for SARS to consider the deduction of qualifying expenses in respect of the disability. You are not required to submit the ITR-DD form with your income tax return. SARS will request it in the event of an audit or inspection.
Benefits of Hearing Aids for Pensioners
Hearing aids offer a range of benefits for pensioners with hearing loss. Here are some of the advantages of using hearing aids:
- Improved communication: Hearing aids can improve the ability to hear and understand speech, allowing pensioners to communicate more effectively with friends, family, and healthcare providers.
- Enhanced social engagement: With better hearing, pensioners can participate more fully in social activities and events, leading to improved mental and emotional well-being.
- Better quality of life: Improved hearing can help pensioners enjoy everyday activities and maintain independence, leading to a better overall quality of life.
- Increased safety: Hearing aids can enhance awareness of one’s surroundings and alert pensioners to potential safety hazards, such as alarms or approaching vehicles.
- Reduced risk of cognitive decline: Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline and dementia. Using hearing aids can improve hearing ability and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
- Better physical health: Poor hearing can lead to physical health issues such as balance problems, falls, and isolation. By improving hearing, hearing aids can contribute to better overall physical health.
Pensioners should choose the right hearing aids that are both effective and practical for their individual needs. Hearing aids can significantly improve the daily lives of pensioners with hearing loss, allowing them to remain active, independent, and engaged in their communities.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, it’s essential to seek the advice of a hearing healthcare professional. Our qualified audiologists have the expertise and training to provide a comprehensive hearing evaluation, recommend appropriate hearing aids, and provide ongoing support and maintenance.
By consulting with our audiologists, you can ensure that you receive the most suitable hearing aids based on your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget. Additionally, they can provide guidance on how to properly use and care for your hearing aids to ensure optimal hearing performance.
Ignoring hearing loss can lead to a decline in communication ability, social engagement, and overall quality of life. It can also increase the risk of cognitive decline, falls, and other health issues. Seeking the advice of a hearing healthcare professional is an important step towards maintaining good hearing health and improving your overall well-being.
Don’t let hearing loss hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest. Consult with a hearing healthcare professional today to learn more about how hearing aids can improve your hearing and quality of life.