The Living Sounds Blog

The Daily Victories

As a customer care representative, I am the first line of contact for most of our clients. Although I enjoy assisting clients with their hearing concerns, my favourite part of the position is meeting and getting to know the clients. I have been with Living Sounds for over 6 years and I am very lucky to have been able to sit and have conversations with many clients or just listen to their stories of their time in the war, their growing families, or their travels. What we don’t always get to hear about is our clients’ experiences with hearing aids. I have had the opportunity of hearing and seeing the transformation one goes through from beginning to end.

I have a close family friend, that for privacy reasons, I will call Judy. Due to some unfortunate health issues, Judy lost her hearing completely in one ear and had hearing loss in the other. For many years she suffered with that loss and missed out on many conversations and avoided functions due to the difficulty and embarrassment. Her husband already wore hearing aids that he had purchased through Living Sounds, so he referred her and suggested she try hearing aids herself.

About 6 years ago Judy got a hearing aid in the ear that had some loss. It did the job it was supposed to, but she still missed hearing some words and sounds due to the complete loss in the other ear. It was recently recommended by one of our practitioners that she try a BiCROS aid. For those of you unfamiliar with BiCROS, it is an aid for users with little or no hearing on one side and with some hearing loss in the other ear. Judy decided to be fitted with the BiCROS aids and has shared with me that she not only hears better in the ear that had hearing loss, but she can perceive sound in the ear that has no hearing.

Judy is always amazed at the sounds she hears in both ears and continues to see positive changes daily. She is truly grateful for the continual work and care that is done by the practitioners and the rest of the staff that have assisted her in regaining a meaningful life.

There are many more positive experiences like Judy’s. Let the wonderful team at Living Sounds Hearing Center be part of your hearing story.

Nicole Badorek
Customer Care Representative

Better Hearing is a Process!

At Living Sounds Hearing Centre, we often talk about hearing aids and how they work, how to manage new hearing devices when they are purchased, or hearing loss and how to protect hearing in the first place. We talk about the emotions involved and the significant impact hearing loss has on a person or the person’s family and friends. We even talk about medical implications and certain diseases that are correlated with hearing loss. However, I fear we don’t talk enough about hearing rehabilitation and what this process actually looks like for most first-time hearing aid users!

First, I’d like to start by saying, “Congratulations!” if you are reading this right now. You’ve started down the path towards better hearing and communication by showing interest in improving a problem that may be affecting you or someone you love. This is one of the earliest stages in the process of hearing rehabilitation. Even if you haven’t purchased hearing aids or even identified a hearing loss yet, you are thinking about the prospect that action is needed. You’re on your way.

The next few steps in the process are straightforward. First, a hearing test is needed to identify hearing levels. If hearing loss is diagnosed, we will often talk about the options for treating this hearing deficit. When your Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Practitioner makes a recommendation, they are often considering numerous factors that may affect which device is the most suitable for you. They will talk to you about size and styles, technology levels, aesthetics and manageability. These are significant factors to consider; the smallest hearing aid is not always the best hearing aid for your specific hearing loss!

Initially your new hearing device may seem unusual. Suddenly you’ll be hearing sounds you haven’t heard in a while and in some cases, may have forgotten were there in the first place! Your clinician will spend time fitting the hearing aid, a process that includes validating and verifying the hearing aid’s volume or “gain” and noise control features to ensure your hearing needs are being met. In many cases patients’ will need some fine-tuning to help make the sound more enjoyable or more functional in their daily lives. Overtime, your brain will become reacquainted with the environmental sounds around you.

There are auditory training techniques that help the brain adjust to new sounds. These include listening games and exercises available for download on your phone, computers or tablets that are designed to help challenge your auditory system and help improve the process of acclimatizing to the hearing aid’s sound. These types of games are often designed using visual and auditory cues to help improve your overall comprehension of speech sounds by having you listen to and identify speech sounds as phonemes, words or brief sentences, often with competing noise. Starkey Laboratories developed one such game called “Hear Coach” and it is available for download through iTunes or Google Play for Android.

Your clinician is a great asset during this process. He or she will be able to guide you by making suggestions that are more specific to you and your needs, such as fine-tuning your hearing aid settings to improve your listening experience. At Living Sounds Hearing Centre, our trained professional are always willing to act as a sounding board to discuss the nuances of hearing with hearing aids. We always encourage our patients to contact us regularly during the hearing rehab process to ensure that everything is going smoothly.

Tania Gora, MSc, R.Aud, Aud (C)
Registered Audiologist

Staff Is Where It Starts

I, Aaron Wannamaker, have been employed by Living Sounds Hearing Centre for over five years. In this time, I have had the great pleasure of working with some of the most genuine, caring people I have ever met. Most of my coworkers have been providing dedicated support and customer service for Living Sounds’ new and existing clients for many years in various locations throughout Edmonton, St. Albert, and Sherwood Park. Our office has a lively atmosphere that is created every day by our fantastic employees. Each individual has a passion for service and treats the entire team as though we are a family. Through my experience with this company, I have come to learn that excellent staff is where it starts.

Living Sounds Hearing Centre has excellent administrative staff, a Registered Audiologist, and many Registered Practitioners that all work closely with new and existing personnel. The Audiologist and practitioners are not only educated but also very professional, presenting accurate hearing test results and recommendations that are designed specifically for the client. There are always multiple options that are best suited to the client’s needs. Our staff is devoted to maintaining unrelenting support and comfort while reassuring clients that they will find the best solution to match their lifestyle. One can always depend on a Living Sounds staff member to care, understand, and be available to help.

Because I am part of the administrative staff at the Synergy Wellness Centre location in Sherwood Park, I know that Living Sounds’ personnel actively participate in having the necessary communication skills to provide honest and knowledgeable recommendations. The administrative staff will book appointments based around personal needs and information provided at the location that is most convenient. We will be more than happy to provide any additional information or answer any questions. Each member of the staff strives for anybody coming in the door to feel comfortable and confident in the service that is given here at Living Sounds Hearing Centre.

Aaron Wannamaker
Customer Care Representative

Helping You Hear is our Privilege

To help people hear and communicate is an incredible privilege. The one thing we notice at Living Sounds is that people are reluctant to get their hearing tested because of fear that there may in fact be a hearing loss, and they may require hearing aids. Bill Gates said that he is “a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.” This perfectly applies to hearing aids. Such a small device can have such a huge impact on a person; the results can be life-changing!

“I don’t know why I waited so long”

“I feel more aware”

“I am not asking people to repeat themselves”

“My work and relationships are improving”

“I am more engaged and active”

“People don’t even see my hearing aids”

“I am so happy to hear again!”

These are some of the things Hearing Aid Practitioners and Audiologists are told regularly, and they are what motivate us to keep coming back. Helping people to hear is our way of adding value to our communities. When a person hears better and learns communication strategies, it allows them to be more engaged in the community. When we communicate better we have better relationships with those around us – happiness is contagious!

Alissa Horneland, BC-HIS

Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences

Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner

Understanding the Difficulties of Hearing Problems

I have been greeting clients at Living Sounds Hearing Centre for 10 years and I love every minute of meeting new people and helping well-known clients every day.

As a Client Care Representative, I know that customer service all starts with the person who answers the telephone or greets you at the front desk. In this position, it’s my goal to help clients in any way possible by making this process easy and comfortable. Addressing hearing problems can a very big step and scary for some people, and I start by helping our clients relax with a coffee, tea or cookies if they like.

I truly understand that sometimes people have many difficulties when they can’t hear properly. As an example, it can sometimes be challenging for family members to get their loved ones to come into Living Sounds Hearing Centre to begin with, and once they do, they can sometimes become agitated. To help, I do my best to make them feel comfortable, but sometimes even after using my best efforts to make them feel at home, they feel uncomfortable and just want to leave. If you’re a family member of one of these clients, please don’t feel embarrassed – it’s something that occurs more often than you’d think, and it is often out of their control. We can simply reschedule for another time when your loved one is having a better day.

At Living Sounds Hearing Centre I take pride in giving the very best customer service I can, helping everyone feel welcomed and comfortable when they walk in our door.

Val Elyn
Client Care Representative

Visit Cindy Gordon of CHHA-Edmonton (Canadian Hard of Hearing – Edmonton Branch)

At Living Sounds Hearing Centre, we strive to meet and exceed your needs. As you may well know, we offer a full range of audiological testing, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and custom ear protection. But — in spite of our very best efforts — we don’t always have all the resources, answers, or assistance that you may require.

To help solve this, we host Cindy Gordon of CHHA-Edmonton (Canadian Hard of Hearing-Edmonton Branch) and her ‘Third Ear’ class. Cindy meets regularly with our clients and their loved ones to discuss hearing loss and the impacts that it may have on their daily lives. She also teaches coping strategies and techniques for better hearing, even if you’re already using hearing aids.

CHHA-Edmonton is a local, non-profit group that assists the hard of hearing and deaf community. They advocate for use of accessible technology and provide guidance to those navigating their way through hearing loss. They currently offer speech reading classes as well as ASL (American Sign Language) courses.

If you would like more information on CHHA-Edmonton, visit www.chha-ed.com, or if you would like to attend a Third Ear class at the Living Sounds nearest you, call 1-780-488-8100 and we will happily get you registered at no charge.

Whatever the question or concern, Living Sounds will always help you find a solution.

Carlee Johnson BC-HIS
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences

What Customer Service at Living Sounds Hearing Centre Means to Me

I’ve been employed with Living Sounds Hearing Centre for 11 years, and I’ve spent this time training to provide the best customer care to our clients. Everyone at Living Sounds strives to give our clients 110% when it comes to customer service, and my personal belief is to treat our clients the way I’d like to be treated. Because of this, our clients feel that their needs are taken care of from the moment they walk in the door and are offered refreshments.

Because of our dedication to making everyone who enters Living Sounds happy, we have some clients who walk in just to have coffee and chat. Moments like this make me feel that we have given the best Customer Care possible.

For instance, some of our clients have been with Living Sounds for numerous years. Within that time, we’ve seen some clients’ health unfortunately diminish. One day, a client came in who was suffering from severe dementia. When she came in for her appointment, she seemed very distraught and confused. Sensing her discomfort, I approached her, held her hand, and asked her what’s wrong. This small action helped calm her down and reassured her that we were here to help. It’s the little things like this that demonstrate what customer service means to me.

I am very proud to say Living Sounds Hearing Centre has trained me to respect what I do.

Elaine Sutherland
Client Care Representative

Custom Earphones vs. Generic Earbuds

Generic earbuds have certainly improved over the years, but they are still primarily a one size fits all type of thing that may not work with all ear shapes. Depending on the shape of your ear, earbuds can be uncomfortable, fall out, or just not sound great if they don’t sit properly in the ear canal. For many of us, the ear buds that we use with our devices while listening to music, gaming, or using the computer are just not good enough for long term wear.

Custom earphones are taking over! New custom earphones are made by taking a mold of your ears by a hearing care professional to create a custom fit set of earphones. They are made of comfortable silicone that truly fit the contours of your ears, ensuring that they won’t fall out.

These custom earphones can plug into any audio device with a standard 3.5mm audio output, which is perfect for use while exercising, motor sports, or travelling. The permanent durable cable is located at the bottom of the earmolds instead of the sides for a flush fit. This provides a comfortable wear when worn under helmets and for active users.

Custom earphones can also be specifically made with a dedicated woofer and ultra low frequency extension, paired with a mid/high frequency driver that creates a full and dynamic sound. This is sure to impress even the most critical audiophile.

So if you are an athlete, or need earphones to fit comfortably under a helmet while riding, a music lover, or a long distance traveller looking for superior sound quality and customized fit, consider a pair of customized earphones. They will deliver superior sound quality that is rarely seen in generic earbuds.

Visit any of our Living Sounds locations to get more information on the revolutionized custom earphones.

Adele Collingwood, BC HIS
Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner

What’s New?

Living Sounds is excited to now be able to provide The Dashpro! The custom Dashpro is the newest wireless earphone device made by Bragi, tailored by Starkey Hearing Technologies.

This technology has strong premium audio abilities and streams music without interruptions. It comes with smartphone and wireless connectivity, and an activity tracker that can track your heart rate, calories, speed, and step count. These amazing devices can even differentiate between running, swimming, or cycling. The Dashpro also monitors your workouts with the help of the activity coach to keep you motivated with real-time feedback. The Dashpro is offered in a non-custom form, or can be customized to fit your ears. An ear impression is all that is required to make these just for you! You can learn more at: https://www.bragi.com/thedashpro/

We’re excited to be offering this amazing technology! Please call Living Sounds Hearing Centre at 1-800-232-7289 to be fit with your newest hearable.

Natalie Huska, BC-HIS
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences,
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner

LivingSounds

The Real Value of Customer Service

The team of professionals at Living Sounds Hearing Centre is committed to providing customer service with excellence. Our goal is that each client experiences individual and undivided attention related to their unique hearing needs. We are committed to fulfilling this goal from beginning to end with each conversation by greeting each client by name with a friendly smile and positive attitude, listening attentively, asking the correct questions to properly assess their needs, and ensuring each client is treated with respect and dignity.

Providing customer service every day in every way is one of our highest priorities. I have received feedback from numerous clients who have expressed their sincere appreciation for the level of one-on-one care they have received during their appointments. We know we are succeeding when we hear our clients tell us how at home they feel in our offices because of the level of care we provide them. Some have even said they want to stay or come back one day and have another coffee and a cookie. When these comments are made, it lets me know that I am doing my job to the best of my ability.

As a Client Care Representative, I am thankful for the extreme importance that is placed upon excellent customer service. For this reason, and many more, it has been a high honour to be a part of this team during the last 10 years, and I look forward to continuing to serve this community in the future.

Karen Kreklywich,
Client Care Representative


About

As a full service hearing health care provider, Living Sounds Hearing Centre Ltd. offers a variety of hearing aid products, assistive listening devices and hearing services from clinic locations in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Barrhead, Drayton Valley, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, St. Paul, Stony Plain, Vegreville, Westlock, and Westaskiwin.
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12310 - 105 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5N 0Y4

Ph: 780-488-8100
Toll Free: 1-800-232-7289

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