In Australia alone, there are one in six people living with some form of hearing loss1 – that's nearly 17 per cent of the entire population.
Unfortunately, not all people living with a hearing impairment choose to seek help straight away. In Australia, there's an average seven year gap between someone knowing they need help with their hearing and actually receiving assistance, according to a recent Hearing Care Industry Association report2.
Therefore, the Australian Government have created a program offering hearing help to those most in need. It's called the Hearing Services Program.
What impact can untreated hearing loss have on a person?
Not being able to hear properly can have a detrimental effect on your social life. To avoid embarrassment and struggle, people may choose to isolate themselves, which can lead to depression further down the line.
To mitigate these issues, the Hearing Services Program allows those in need of hearing help, receive Government assistance through a range of services.
In Australia alone, there are one in six people living with some form of hearing loss.
What does the program offer?
Before administrating hearing aids to those eligible, the Hearing Services Program offers comprehensive hearing assessments performed by qualified hearing service providers. If prescribed, all individuals will have access to a wide range of top-quality hearing aids made by leading manufacturers. Whether someone needs hearing aids or not, all people tested will have access to advice on how to look after your hearing and device.
Who is eligible for the program?
Because hearing loss affects the elderly more than anyone else, the program caters fondly toward this demographic. However, there is a voucher entitlement for Australian citizens or permanent residents over the age of 21 who meet one of the following criteria:
- Holder of a Pensioner Concession Card/Department of Veterans' Affair Gold Card (White Card holder)
- Receives Sickness Allowance from Centrelink
- A dependent of a person fitting one of the above criteria
- Someone referred to the program by the Disability Employment Services Program/National Disability Insurance Scheme
- A current member of the Australian Defence Force
Why are hearing aids so important?
Hearing aids work by receiving sounds through a microphone which are then sent to an amplifier as converted electrical signals. The amplifier then increases the signal's power before sending them to the ear through a speaker – allowing an individual to enjoy clearer and louder listening.
However useful hearing aids are, only one in four people who need to wear them actually do, according to Hearing Care Industry Association2.
With this government initiative, more and more people now have the chance to easily receive help with hearing loss.
If you are worried about your own hearing loss or would like more information on the Hearing Services Program, call the team at Western Hearing Services on 1800 781 653. To book a free* hearing assessment, click here.
1Hearnet, The Facts On Hearing Loss. Accessed October 2017
2HCIA, THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COST OF HEARING LOSS IN AUSTRALIA. Accessed October 2017