A full-service audiology department located within a Senior Living Community is just as unheard of now as it was in August 2011 when Willow Valley’s Audiology and Hearing Services was established. Others in the industry marvel at such an innovative idea. Residents of Willow Valley and those living in the Lancaster area have been pleased to take advantage of such convenient, top quality service. Here are some reasons why the department has grown and why many patients express their appreciation for having this option.
Hearing Aid Maintenance
Hearing aids require maintenance and upkeep – more for some patients than for others. Being able to have these issues addressed in a few minutes without having to leave the Community is a plus. Patients often say, “I’m glad you’re here,” or “It’s great that we can get this taken care of right here.” Even if people can drive, it’s nice that they have an in-house option as well.
Convenient On-site Service
It’s even more difficult for people in Supportive Living to access convenient Audiology services. One day a week is devoted to seeing Residents who live there using portable equipment. In these areas, the nursing staff is primarily in charge of caring for hearing aids and support and education is available to them in-house. Sometimes immediate problems can even be addressed between other appointments in the office.
High Quality Care
Being on staff with other professionals at Willow Valley helps ensure the highest quality of care possible. Each professional can offer a different perspective – another piece of the puzzle, so to speak. The insight and information provided by speech pathologists, nursing staff members, the therapy department, and others is helpful as the best course of action is selected. The speech therapists at Willow Valley provide Communication Therapy (Aural Rehabilitation), which is individualized therapy, and counseling to improve listening and communication skills for people once they have their hearing aids.
Patient Advocacy and Hearing Aid Discount Programs
Most people do not know that hearing aids can be purchased by anyone (regardless of health insurance) at a discounted price through nation-wide discount programs such as Hearing Care Solutions and TruHearing. Audiology and Hearing Services is a local representative for both of these programs as well as several others. Just as Willow Valley Communities is committed to being advocates for its Residents, Audiology and Hearing Services is committed to being advocates for our patients. Not only do we identify hearing loss and help patients find the best solutions, but we help them do so for the best price possible.
Benefits to the Community
Members of the communities surrounding Willow Valley are welcomed patients of Audiology and Hearing Services as well. Patients who are not Residents are seen at the North location on the Manor Campus.
Audiology and Hearing Services has become a well-established entity within Willow Valley Communities. I am grateful to be employed by Willow Valley and working in an environment that fosters patient-centered care. Hearing loss is a major quality of life issue, and helping patients improve their hearing and their lives is truly rewarding.
Heather L. Shenk, AuD
Dr. Heather Shenk received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Towson University and her Clinical Doctorate in Audiology from Salus University. She has been practicing since 1999, specializing in hearing aid fittings and offering personalized, patient-centered hearing services to Willow Valley Residents and the general public. For an appointment, please call 717.464.6411, Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.