Zounds Westford Co-sponsors Dementia Workshop

Please join ComForCare Westford, New England Home Medical Equipment and Zounds of Westford at our FREE Dementia Workshop. Director of Special Populations, Deborah Bier, PhD, will present “Game Changing Approaches to Dementia Care for Helping Professionals”. This workshop is designed specifically for health care professionals. The event will begin with a light lunch.



Get your Baseline Hearing Exam Today

So you have an annual physical exam. You have your eyesight tested every year. You get your teeth cleaned and evaluated every 6 months. And you have your hearing examined every year… wait… you mean you don’t have a baseline hearing exam every year. It’s free! Why not!

Because hearing loss isn’t commonly screened by the family doctor, it’s normal to be unsure of when and why you hearing testshould be getting your hearing tested. You should schedule a baseline hearing exam followed by subsequent annual exams starting at any age, but especially if you fall into one (or more) of the following three categories:

1) You are 55 or older. Once you are 55, it is recommended that have your hearing tested annually, regardless of whether you think you have symptoms of a hearing loss. A decline in your hearing is a natural part of aging, and if you catch a hearing loss in its earliest stages, you and your hearing healthcare professional will be much better equipped to address and manage it into the future. Even if you discover a hearing loss, you may not need a hearing aid right away, but you’ll have the information you need to maintain your hearing health and take action as you go forward.

2) You have had consistent exposure to loud noise through work or recreation. Prolonged noise exposure is one of the main causes of hearing loss. Workplace environments that can cause a noise-induced hearing loss include construction sites, factories, military service, the music industry, or large, enclosed sports stadiums. If you have had significant prior exposure to noise or are still working with noise on a daily basis, it’s especially necessary to test your hearing annually.

3) You exhibit any signs or symptoms of a hearing loss. In this case, it’s important to have your hearing tested every year. Initial signs of a hearing loss include the following:

  • The feeling that people constantly mumble or don’t speak clearly
  • Often having to ask people to speak up or repeat themselves
  • Difficulty following conversations in busy settings (restaurants, malls, parties, etc.)
  • Difficulty following group conversations
  • Difficulty hearing people on the telephone
  • Others frequently commenting that your television or radio is too loud.

And, if you are already wearing hearing aids, it’s still important to have your hearing tested on a yearly basis. Hearing changes over time, and so it’s necessary to ensure that your hearing aids are still effectively addressing your hearing loss. Hearing Test NIH Questionnaire

The following questionnaire is published by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, a Division of the National Institute of Health. The questionnaire is designed to help you determine if you should have your haring evaluated.

Any one of these symptoms can signal a hearing loss, even in young and middle-aged adults. It’s also important to note that it’s more often close friends or relatives who recognize the initial stages of a hearing loss than the people affected themselves. No matter your age, if you or someone close to you suspects that you have a hearing loss, it’s best to have your hearing tested.

1. Does a hearing problem cause you to feel embarrassed when you meet new people?

2. Does a hearing problem cause you to feel frustrated when talking to members of your family?

3. Do you have difficulty hearing or understanding co-workers, clients, or customers?

4. Do you feel slowed down by a hearing problem?

5. Does a hearing problem cause you difficulty when visiting friends, relatives, or neighbors?

6. Does a hearing problem cause you difficulty in the movies or in the theater?

7. Does a hearing problem cause you to have arguments with family members?

8. Does a hearing problem cause you difficulty when listening to TV or radio?

9. Do you feel that any difficulty with your hearing limits or hampers your personal or social life?

10. Does a hearing problem cause you difficulty when in a restaurant with relatives or friends?

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you may want to get a hearing evaluation.

To learn more visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, a Division of the National Institute of Health

Protecting Your Wealth

Jenn continues to put out great information for seniors in a very entertaining format. Check it out! This week the topic was protecting your wealth and avoid financial abuse. We thought such an important topic was worth sharing.

Zounds of Westford was grateful to be a guest on the WestfordCAT television show called Senior Spot, hosted by Jenn Quinn, President and Owner of Westford ComForCare. We are extremely grateful to Jenn Quinn, President of Westford ComforCare for inviting us to be a part of the show and to WestfordCAT for making this production possible.

Westford ComForCare (http://comforcare.com/massachusetts/westford) provides services to help people to remain independent during their later years throughout comforcare logo.25much of Central Massachusetts. People are able to live safely at home while caregivers visit and assist with tasks that are more difficult than they once were. Some services include helping with daily grooming and hygiene, assistance with bathroom visits, preparing daily meals, running errands, providing reminders about daily medicine, light cleaning and housekeeping and friendly companionship.

Westford Community Access Television (http://www.westfordcat.org/) promotes and encourages the use of public access resources to enhance westfordcat logoa free and diverse exchange of ideas and interests that foster community participation and education. Their goal is to be the first place Westford residents turn when they are interested in making or watching programs of local interest that are not covered by mainstream media and to assist them in sharing this content with their local and extended communities. A full range of on-location and studio recording equipment, three channels for public, educational and government programming, and a website that includes our video on demand library are available.

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Stereotypes

Some believe that hearing impairment is just a problem for senior citizens and grandparents. Recent findings, however, expose this belief for what it is: a myth. Around sixty-five percent of people with hearing loss are younger than 65. In fact, there are more than six million people between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss in the U.S. alone.

If you still think that hearing loss is a problem only for the elderly, consider the following:
•Almost 1.5-million people below the age of 18 have hearing difficulties
•Three in 1,000 newborns have serious or profound hearing loss

Hearing Aids

Another stereotype surrounding hearing impairment is that hearing aids don’t work. This is simply not true. Four out of five hearing aid users report a significant increase in their hearing and quality of life. These people are so pleased that they would recommend this technology to their friends and family.

Don’t let the biases and misconceptions of others prevent you from hearing all you were meant to hear.
Please call us at 978-496-1414
We are conveniently located in Westford on Route 110

If interested in learning more about hearing health and hearing loss, The Better Hearing Institute is a great source of information.

Hearing Health Matters

What is Ototoxicity

Treating medical conditions without creating unwanted side effects or new conditions altogether is a delicate situation to manage. And with so many drugs on the market, it’s important to be informed and aware of your course of therapy.

Ear poisoning which results from exposure to drugs or chemicals that damage the inner ear or the vestibule-cochlea nerve is called ototoxicity. Common medicines that can cause hearing loss include a range of antibiotics, diuretics, chemotherapeutic agents, salicylates, and also environmental chemicals and other substances like lead, mercury, and carbon monoxide.
Whether your medication regimen is temporary or long term, it is wise to be aware of the signs of ototoxicity and get ahead of any potential problems.

Symptoms of ototoxicity include but are not limited to:
•tinnitus or ringing in the ears
•bilateral or unilateral hearing loss
•uncoordinated in movements
•unsteadiness of gait
•oscillating or bouncing vision

There are currently no treatments available for ototoxicity other than discontinuing the prescribed medication. Preventively speaking; once armed with the knowledge of being exposed to ototoxicity by known ototoxic drugs, do not hesitate in discussing your concerns with your doctor and also requesting a hearing and balance test to create a baseline. It is a good idea to always refer to the pharmacy insert that comes with your prescription. These inserts include information such as how to use the medication, and the side effects and warnings involving your medication. Whenever possible, ototoxic meds should be avoided.