Hearing Aids: A Legal Scam that Targets Seniors

 FreeIt works like this:

1) A company places an aid in the newspaper, on television, or via a mailing flyer advertising a “Free” hearing aid test. It’s a well known marketing fact, that the word, “Free,” will usually draw a significant response.

2) Seniors can be especially susceptible to this tactic, because they are often concerned about hearing loss due to aging. They are also quite frequently on a fixed budget, and the word, “Free,” can carry greater impact and enticement.

3) When they go for the free test, they naively offer their personal data filling out forms that appear to be for standard registration. From these forms, it may be rather simple to detect their financial status.

4) Then someone who appears to be a certified audiologist, that is a medical professional trained in ear disorders, administers what seems to be a legitimate hearing test. But this person is not an audiologist, although they might have some training, still they may be more of a high-pressure salesman disguised in a white lab coat.

5) Then this seemingly sympathetic specialist might relay the distressing news the individual being tested has already experienced some type of hearing loss. However, this astute salesman excitedly stresses the hopefulness of the situation by suggesting it can by rectified by purchasing hearing aids from their company which will restore an individual’s hearing insuring the senior’s continued quality of life. In reality, these devices which often cost thousands of dollars are of little value if not properly prescribed and wind up in a junk door.

photo (10)This very scenario happened to someone I love recently. I went with this relative for a free hearing test and heard the tragic verdict of hearing loss. I witnessed firsthand the distress and worry the patient immediately felt. But being an “old” investigative reporter by profession, I didn’t buy it. I began researching that specific company on the Internet and found several complaints lodged against them. I also investigated the background of the “gentleman” masquerading as a hearing doctor (although he never said that he was) and found that he was more of a trained salesman.

Better known as a hearing aid dispenser, past Ohio Revised Code only demanded that these individuals be: “18 years old, [of] good moral character [which I question in this case], free of contagious disease, [possess] a high school diploma, or equivalent education (GED) and pass [a] qualifying examination…’shall be a thorough testing of knowledge required for the proper selecting, fitting and sale of hearing aids, but shall not be such that a medical or surgical education is required…’”

Until recent years, an audiologist was an educated clinician dealing with a myriad of ear disorders who possessed a Master’s or Doctoral degree in Audiology and passed an examination for licensure. Two decades ago, realizing even this was not enough, the American Academy of Audiology “developed a four-year, post-bachelors curriculum for the professional doctorate in audiology.” In 2012, a doctoral degree became a requirement to become a nationally certified audiologist.ear

So, I called a real audiologist, one highly respected in her field, who is known for only prescribing hearing aids, when they are absolutely necessary. When she tested my relative, the credible audiologist found that his hearing was exceptional for an individual in his 60s. There was no hearing loss, and no need for hearing aids of any kind.

Of course, there are many individuals who do experience hearing loss as they age, and there are reputable professionals who try to help them. That’s why it’s critical, if you feel that you or someone you love might need help, please do some research. Check with your local hospital, Better Business Bureau, or individuals who have had success with their hearing aids. Also, use the Internet to Google and find out about the background of individuals who are treating you. Find a certified audiologist or a professional with extensive training in the field, who is accredited and recommended by others. After all, most of the complaints logged online represent people who have spent thousands of dollars on hearing aids that don’t work for them.

Don’t fall for the word, “Free,” when it comes to hearing, or anything else that pertains to your health.There are wolves in sheep’s clothing or white lab coats who will take advantage of you or the seniors you love, if you let them.

Christina Ryan Claypool is an AP and Amy award-winning journalist and Christian speaker. Her website is www.christinaryanclaypool.com

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Remembering 9/11 Heroes and the Everyday Spiritual Battle

 

There was a TV show made, newspaper headlines and Internet postings about heroes among us. I’m not too intrigued by the superhero variety that generations of Americans like me have grown up with. You know, the notable list including: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Fantastic Four, among others.

What I find most inspirational are those everyday heroes who simply live their lives, trying to do the right thing at the right time. For example, most of us, can probably remember the infamous United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked by terrorists during the 9/11 attack. The passengers on the aircraft fought back against their captors, sacrificing their lives to avert a possible national crisis. This story was immortalized in the last words of passenger, Todd Beamer, who said, “Are you guys, ready? Let’s roll.”

For awhile, “Let’s roll,” became a sort of battle cry against evil in the emotional aftermath of this tragedy. In a spiritual sense, it’s important to live our Christian faith embracing this motto, too. In explanation, “Let’s roll,” can be interpreted, “Let’s fight back when circumstances deal us a crushing blow.” Folks refer to this concept as spiritual warfare and site the passage from Ephesians 6:10-18 as a basis for the ardent battle against wicked forces that try to overcome us.

“Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. But against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

That’s what real spiritual heroes do. They remain “strong in the Lord,” despite negative circumstances. They clothe themselves with the spiritual armor that the rest of these verses refer to: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word. Then they pray that God’s armor will protect them from all evil.

Yet the Bible also tells us in the Book of Philippians 4:4 that we should, “Rejoice in the Lord always…” regardless of our situation. In explanation, let’s look at another tale of heroism concerning the also famous airplane, U.S. Airways Flight 1549. The craft was manned by seasoned pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who is sometimes referred to as the, “Hero of the Hudson.” 

Sullenberger was able to crash land the craft in the Hudson Bay on Jan. 15, 2009, in such a skilled way that the lives of the more than 150 passengers aboard were spared. But I doubt the folks on the craft were “rejoicing” very much on their frightening descent into the water. After all, the miraculous landing was the first time in 45 years, when everyone aboard a plane that crash-landed in a body of water survived. How could the passengers thank God for their circumstances, when they couldn’t imagine that everything would turn out alright?

For most of us, uncertain circumstances hinder us from praising God, and thanking Him for being in control. Fear of what could happen often overtakes us. We grow desperate, and sometimes even take matters into our own hands. We forget to “wait upon” and to “be strong in the Lord,” while we are seeking His will and direction.

Everyday spiritual heroes are all around us. They are simply folks who obey and trust God no matter what. It’s up to us, if we want to be in God’s Heroes Hall of Fame. No matter what you are going through Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart…” While we wait, we can expectantly hope for the good God is about to do. Because in the end, whether on this Earth or in Heaven, God’s children always win.  

Christina Ryan Claypool is an evangelistic speaker and freelance journalist. Contact her through her Website at www.christinaryanclaypool.com

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Special Free Offer for blog readers: Diane Markins new book, Women in High Def: Boldly Living Your Purposes with Vibrant Clarity is available on amazon.com free in the Kindle version beginning Sept. 10th thru Sept. 14, 2012. I started reading it the other day, and was totally blessed. Besides, you can’t beat free!

New Book: Women in High Def…by Diane Markins

 
Click on the book to go to amazon and check it out!

Make sure you read Diane’s story, “Falling Down Gorgeous.” That one is just too funny and insightful for those of us girls dealing with aging.

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