The Living Sounds Blog

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

Tips For Effective Communication

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for reading our blog! In the past, we have talked about how to communicate effectively, but effective communication between a person with normal hearing and a person who is hard of hearing does not always take place. Normal hearing people often forget how important their role is when speaking to a person with hearing loss. Below are some great tips for how people with normal hearing can help themselves be heard by someone with hearing loss, and tips for individuals with hearing loss to increase their listening abilities.

Tips for a Hearing Person to Communicate with Person Who Has a Hearing Loss

Position yourself properly

  • Get the person’s attention first.
  • Face the person directly.
  • Highlight your face with light around you so the person you are speaking to can clearly see your mouth (no backlighting).
  • Ask how you can facilitate communication.
  • Avoid noisy backgrounds.
  • When audio and acoustics are poor, emphasize the visual.

Speaking to your audience

  • Don’t shout.
  • Speak clearly, at moderate pace, and don’t over-emphasize words.
  • Don’t hide your mouth, chew food, gum, or smoke while talking.
  • Re-phrase your sentence if you are not understood.
  • Use facial expressions and gestures.
  • Give clues when changing subjects or say “new subject.”

Be empathic to your audience

  • Be patient if the person’s response seems slow.
  • Talk to the person who is hard of hearing, not about him or her to another person.
  • Show respect to help build confidence and have a constructive conversation.
  • Maintain a sense of humor, and stay positive and relaxed.

 Tips for a Person with Hearing Loss to Communicate with a Hearing People

Inform your audience and plan ahead

  • Tell others how to best communicate with you.
  • Hold a conversation in a space that allows you to hear the best you can (light, quiet area, close to speaker).
  • Anticipate difficult situations, and plan how to minimize them.

Do your part. Focus to listen.

  • Pay attention.
  • Concentrate on the speaker.
  • Look for visual clues.
  • Ask for written cues if needed.
  • Don’t interrupt the speaker. Let conversation flow to fill in the blanks and gain more meaning.
  • Maintain a sense of humor, and stay positive and relaxed.

Be empathic to your audience

  • React. Let the speaker know how well he or she is conveying the information.
  • Don’t lie. Admit it when you don’t understand.
  • If you are too tired to concentrate, ask to have the discussion at a later time.
  • Thank the speaker for making an effort to communicate clearly.

If you have any questions about how to communicate more effectively to people with or without hearing loss, feel free to contact us at Living Sounds Hearing Centre 1-800-232-7289.

Klinton Pilling, BC-HIS
Board Certified in Hearing Instruments Sciences
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner

 

The Hearing Better Journey with Living Sounds

Life without hearing becoming withdrawn; unable to hear voices over that song.
Wondering how it ever got this far, can’t even hear the signal in your car.
Those sweet sounds in life escape your ear, and yet you hesitate out of fear.
Step through our doors we welcome you in, the time is come the journey begins.

Each little detail we handle with care, no stone unturned we want you aware.
Every step of the way we will guide through, this journey of course is all about you.
Ensuring your comfort is our main concern, have no fear your trust we will earn.
The moment you walk into our place, you will instantly be greeted with a smiling face.

We offer a home where no judgment is passed; our customer service is top of the class.
Making new friends is where we start; your satisfaction truly warms our hearts.
Watching our clients re-explore those sounds, regaining confidence in leaps and bounds.
That is the reason we are here every day, to listen with excitement at all you will say.

Something as subtle as a ticking clock; or the heartwarming voice of a child as they talk.
Hearing the birds sing for the first time again, the sounds you will discover have no end.
So welcome new friend to Living Sounds, we hope you will seek a treasure now found.
Let us explore where your journey will lead; we wish only to help you to succeed.

Emma Poole
Customer Care Liaison

Not Hearing in Groups: High Frequency Hearing Loss Increases the Chances of Hearing Problems in Groups

People often tell me they feel their hearing is fine, but that they have trouble understanding other people in noisy environments such as restaurants or family gatherings. This is typically the first sign of hearing loss. We regularly see high-frequency hearing loss as people age. One of the first symptoms of high-frequency hearing loss is noticing that you can hear and understand people in quiet spaces, but cannot understand the same people in a noisy environment.

Hearing loss is hearing loss whether or not you are surrounded by noise or silence — there is no difference. What is important is how much you understand what you hear. When people don’t understand as much in the presence of noise in a group setting, they feel left out. The fun of participating in groups declines and they stop doing the social activities they love. Ultimately, hearing loss affects lifestyle.

Even though high frequency hearing loss may be mild, it is still worth paying attention to. Low frequency sounds have larger sound waves, and therefore have more energy and sounds louder than the voices you want to hear. Most of the volume in speech is produced by low frequency vowels while the intelligence in speech is produced by high frequency consonants.

This means that because you hear low frequency sounds well, you can still hear people talking with no problem. However, because you cannot hear the high frequency sounds as well, you don’t hear the consonants that carry most of the meaning of speech. When you suffer a high frequency hearing loss, even if it is just a mild loss, understanding speech in the presence of background noise becomes more difficult.

Wearing open fit hearing aids that do not occlude the ear canal and boost the volume of higher frequencies will improve the voice to noise ratio in noisy situations.

I love my open fit Starkey Muse hearing aids in noisy situations. Sometimes I find myself hearing things that people around me with normal hearing are struggling to understand. Occasionally, when I am not wearing my hearing aids at a family gathering, one of my grandchildren will comment when I do not hear/understand them. Hearing my grandchildren is the biggest reason for me to use my hearing aids, even if my hearing loss is mild.

Cathy Robinson BC-HIS
Board Certified in Hearing Instruments Sciences
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner


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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