Our experts reviewed the industry’s best hearing aids and narrowed down the list to their top picks for Alzheimer’s patients.
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According to Alzheimers.gov, hearing loss may affect cognition and dementia risk in older adults and can make it harder to interact with others.1 The combination of hearing loss and dementia may magnify your loved one’s feelings of confusion and frustration. This certainly creates a unique challenge for family members and caregivers as consideration must be given to the person’s level of hearing loss and severity of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed in choosing the best hearing aid for your loved one, know that you’re not alone! We’re here to guide you through the process. Below, we’ll cover the top hearing aids for dementia patients and important tips to keep in mind when purchasing a dementia-friendly hearing aid. Communication is key, so we’ll also identify optimal ways to communicate when your loved one has hearing loss and dementia.
The Best Hearing Aids for Seniors with Alzheimer’s in 2022
By offering direct-to-consumer online hearing aids, Lively keeps costs low so that they can pass the savings on to the consumer. Lively’s rechargeable models start at $1,595 for the Lively 2 Plus. The Lively 2 Pro, their mid-range hearing aid, packed with the most advanced technology, comes in at $1,995.
Lively leads the pack in rechargeable hearing aids. We’re big fans of Lively’s long battery life and convenient charging case. Bonus points go to Lively’s low-battery alert as it provides a gentle reminder to recharge hearing aids. These BTE hearing aids are best for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss and are custom-programmed based on your loved one’s needs. If purchasing hearing aids via the web is new to you, check out our Lively hearing aid review for an in-depth look at the online-buying process.
FYI: Lively’s pricing comes in remarkably lower than traditional prescription-based hearing aids like Oticon and Beltone brands that require multiple in-person appointments.
MDHearing’s pricing ranges from $399 for a single low-tech hearing aid up to $1,899.98 per pair for their most advanced model. Make sure to check out MDHearing’s range of competitive financing options, including a three-, six-, or 12-month payment plan starting at 0 percent APR.
MDHearing’s lineup has something for just about everyone. The low-tech Air model is equipped with a simple volume control dial and button to adjust pre-programmed settings. Its user-friendly design makes it a solid option for older adults with dementia and hearing loss. As with other online hearing aid companies, MDHearing offers remote non-invasive hearing tests. This is a plus as in-person office visits may negatively disrupt or disorient a structured day. One potential drawback of the MDHearing brand is its 90-day limited warranty. This budget-friendly hearing aid purchase may be costly if your loved one accidentally loses or damages their hearing aids regularly. Head over to our MDHearing review to learn more about this provider.
Inside Tip: If price comparison is making your head spin, we have you covered with everything you need to know about hearing aid costs!
Ranging from $1,450 to $2,950 per pair, Eargo’s hearing aid prices come in below the average in-person hearing aid cost. If you’d prefer to pay over time, choose between Eargo’s 12- or 24-month financing plans.
Eargo delivers a discreet and easy-to-use hearing aid with minimal steps for use. This feature is especially beneficial if your loved one has difficulty with detailed instructions. The no-cost sample kit is a great way to ensure the hearing aid feels comfortable in the ear canal. We found Eargo’s customer service impressive, with personalized support from licensed hearing professionals available via phone, text, email, or video chat. Keep in mind that ITC hearing aids aren’t ideal for everyone due to ear shape and anatomy. Before using ITC models, getting a medical evaluation from a hearing professional is highly recommended. For more details on Eargo’s product line, visit our hands-on Eargo hearing aid review.
Did You Know: Our comprehensive hearing aid buying guide includes essential details on types of hearing aids and how to choose the best hearing aid for your loved one.
Lexie offers two ways to buy their hearing aids. The Lumen is priced at $799 per pair for a one-time purchase. Lexie also offers a monthly subscription priced at $49 per month for 24 months. Be aware there is a $50 one-time activation fee when you choose to pay monthly. Don’t forget to sign up for the free Lexie Rewards program to earn rewards points and save on purchases!
The Lexie Lumen is a noteworthy online hearing aid for those with combined challenges like dementia, vision, and hearing loss. The two large buttons make the Lumen easy to manage and frustration-free. We like that Lexie wants to set your loved one up for hearing aid success. With unlimited face-to-face and phone support (that you can be present for), Lexie’s hearing care professionals are available to help activate, configure, and troubleshoot the hearing aids. Hearing needs change, and you can request a hearing test retake with Lexie at any time to ensure your loved one’s hearing aid settings are optimal.
Pro Tip: Setting up Lexie’s hearing aids is simple. Head over to our Lexie hearing aid review for step-by-step instructions.
Otofonix earned high praise as one of our best cheap hearing aid providers for good reason! You’ll find pricing from $248 for one hearing aid (the Apex model) to $1,590 for a pair of rechargeable hearing aids (the Groove model). Keep on the lookout for promotions as Otofonix often runs sales with up to 50 percent off. Don’t forget to have a look at their interest-free installment plan.
Otofonix hearing aids are a budget-friendly choice for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. We’re impressed with the low price point, extended protection plan, and range of models. The Otofonix learning library is jam-packed with video tutorials, which help make setting up your loved one’s hearing aids a breeze. As you explore the models, be sure to consider your loved one’s level of hearing loss and cognitive difficulties, as Otofonix’s battery-powered hearing aids may be challenging to change.
Money-Saving Tip: It’s possible to get reduced-cost or free hearing aids. Head over to our guide on how to get free hearing aids for seniors for the inside scoop.
All Phonak products, including the Lyric, are sold through authorized Lyric providers. Lyric hearing aids must be purchased with a subscription that covers insertion, replacement, and service. Subscription costs are often dictated by where you live, so pricing will most likely vary. Prescription-based hearing aids tend to come with a heftier price tag, so if paying in full isn’t possible, don’t hesitate to ask the provider about payment plan options.
As noted in our Phonak hearing aid review, Phonak’s product line is well-made, reliable, and durable. The Lyric is a low-maintenance hearing aid option that provides 24/7 hearing and lasts months at a time. This feature is noteworthy as it eliminates potentially confusing tasks of traditional hearing aids like putting them in, turning the power on, and keeping the battery charged. If you’re looking for a truly hands-off hearing aid option for your loved one, Phonak’s Lyric may be a wise choice.
As with Phonak, Starkey’s hearing aid pricing isn’t advertised online. Visit your local Starkey retailer to find out if Starkey hearing aids will meet the needs of your loved one. It’s important to know that you can obtain hearing aid quotes to compare pricing and services included, like hearing tests, fittings, and follow-up care.
When a person struggles with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s crucial for family members and caregivers to remain in close contact. Starkey’s Evolv AI plays a significant role in protecting the well-being of your loved one and keeping you updated with immediate alerts should a fall occur. The added bonus of scheduling reminders for medication or other routine tasks helps promote independence while providing additional support. Medical alert features are rare in hearing aids, and Starkey goes the distance.
Pro Tip: Hearing aids are an investment, so head over to our Starkey hearing aid review before committing to a purchase!
You won’t find the price of Signia hearing aids on their website. All of Signia’s products must be purchased from a hearing care professional. Prices vary based on the model selected and the location of purchase. Signia’s price point falls in line with other in-office hearing aids like Widex hearing aids. In general, in-office prescription hearing aids come at a higher out-of-pocket cost.
While other brands such as Lively and Eargo are only for mild to moderate hearing loss, Signia hearing aids support individuals with mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss. Individuals battling Alzheimer’s benefit from a low-stress environment, and Signia’s custom rechargeable hearing aids eliminate the worry of changing batteries (especially for those with dexterity issues). The made-to-order Insio Charge&Go AX models deliver a comfortable fit, lessening the chances of sporadic removal. Read our review of Signia hearing aids to find out how Signia products stood up to our hands-on testing.
Did You Know: Tinnitus has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.6 If your loved one experiences tinnitus, Signia’s hearing aids include patented tinnitus therapy. Head over to our best hearing aids for tinnitus to learn more.
The number of hearing aids on the market can make it tough to choose the best hearing aid for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. To help you make the best decision possible, we’ve compiled a list of the top providers that outshine the competition. To do this, we evaluated criteria including ease of use, battery life, price point, and dementia-friendly features.
There is an undeniable connection between hearing loss and dementia. A multiyear brain scan study by Johns Hopkins Medicine revealed hearing loss might contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain.7 If you suspect your loved one is experiencing hearing loss (even if it appears to be mild), a hearing exam is critical to maintaining and maximizing hearing health.
Common risk factors for dementia are family history, age, and the effects of strokes. However, individuals and their caregivers may be surprised to find that hearing loss is estimated to account for eight percent of dementia cases. This means that hearing loss may be responsible for 800,000 of the nearly 10 million new cases of dementia diagnosed each year.8
There are several key features to consider when choosing a hearing aid for seniors with dementia. As you research the best hearing aid for your loved one’s needs, keep these benefits in mind.
|Hearing aid feature||Dementia-friendly benefit|
|Long battery life||This reduces the challenge of remembering to change or recharge batteries.|
|Medical alert notifications||Hearing loss and dementia can make your loved one more susceptible to falls. Built-in medical alert features enable family members to be notified immediately.|
|Dexterity-friendly||Ensure ease of adjusting hearing aids by avoiding models with small buttons.|
|Protection plan||Protection plans safeguard your loved one’s hearing aid investment from accidental damage (for example, water damage) or loss.|
|Tinnitus relief||Tinnitus may heighten memory problems, anxiety, and irritability.9 Hearing aids with tinnitus relief help reduce symptoms like ringing or buzzing in the ears.|
|Water-resistant technology||Your loved one may not always remember to take their hearing aids out before showering. Water-resistant and waterproof technology helps protect the aids from shorting out.|
|Background noise suppression||Directional microphones help reduce distracting noises. This is especially helpful if your loved one participates in group memory care activities or spends time in noisy or busy settings.|
First and foremost, patience is essential. Your loved one is living with two health challenges, and some days will be better than others. Improve connecting with your loved one by using these five communication tools:
Yes. Individuals in the beginning stage of dementia may be comfortable inserting hearing aids, while patients with moderately severe or severe dementia may benefit from an extended-wear hearing aid.
Many hearing aid manufacturers offer hearing aid loss and damage insurance. This may be included in the warranty or purchased at an additional cost.
This will vary based on the patient’s hearing loss level and severity of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Ruth Reisman, AuD MBA, is a licensed audiologist and hearing aid dispenser in New York state and is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association. After serving as an audiologist in the New York downstate hospital system, Dr. Reisman led the… Learn More About Dr. Ruth Reisman
Alzheimers.gov. (2022). Can I Prevent Dementia?
National Library of Medicine. (2014). Minimizing Confusion and Disorientation: Cognitive Support Work in Informal Dementia Caregiving.
Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. (2020). Dementia and Vision Loss.
Alzheimer’s Association. (2022). 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Facts About Falls.
National Library of Medicine. (2020). Tinnitus and risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease: a retrospective nationwide population-based cohort study.
Hopkins Medicine. (2022). The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2021). Hearing Loss and the Dementia Connection.
Mayo Clinic. (2022). Tinnitus.