GIFT OF SOUND – FREE HEARING AID PROGRAM
The Rotary Club of Honolulu is teaming with Miracle Ear Foundation’s Gift of Sound™ program, which provides free hearing aids to those that qualify. The application fee is $150, which includes a hearing assessment, hearing aid fittings and follow-up adjustments. While supplies last, the Rotary Club of Honolulu will assist those who can not afford the $150 application fee through its Can You Hear Us Now? program.
Some important facts about hearing loss:
■ Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition that affects people of all ages.
■ Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) typically begins as early as 55.
■ Individuals with mild to moderate untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to show symptoms of depression and isolation than those with normal hearing or those who wear hearing devices.
■ Most of those with hearing loss wait seven to 10 years before getting help. Delaying corrective action may result in irreversible hearing loss.
■ Less than 30 percent of our kūpuna use hearing devices due to:
• Lack of means to purchase
• Avoidance and denial of hearing issues
• Unfamiliar with where to go for help
• Misdiagnosed or untested due to assumptions of other issues
Currently, most health insurance plans in Hawai‘i offer limited or no coverage for a hearing aid purchase. If offered, the amount of coverage may be low. As a result, many in need choose to delay or forgo the purchase due to the high cost.
The Gift of Sound program aims to address that issue. Applicants for assistance must complete the Gift of Sound application form (www.miracle-ear.com/miracle-ear-foundation/eligibility) and must show:
• Less than $25,750 annual gross income.
• Evidence establishing the inability to pay the Gift of Sound application fee.
Eligible applicants must obtain, complete and return the application from a Miracle Ear location. For more information please contact Rick Tabor, chair of the Rotary Club of Honolulu’s Kūpuna Kokua Committee, 808.922.5526. Or stop by any Miracle Ear location and tell them Rick sent you.