Meeting People Where They Are

The Hearing and Speech Center is committed to helping everyone with communication challenges meet their goals, and we have partnered with organizations such as On Lok Senior Center to provide these essential services to even more people.
Audiologist Dr. Kylie McLaughlin works with seniors once a week at On Lok. Named for a Cantonese term meaning “peaceful, happy abode,” it is a nationwide organization that is dedicated to the health and well-being of seniors. Dr. McLaughlin provides basic audiological services for her On Lok clients, such as annual hearing tests, hearing aid/assistive listening device (ALD) consultation, and hearing aid/ALD checks and repairs.

“When seniors have a variety of health issues, hearing is easily overlooked,” Dr. McLaughlin said. “We’re there to advocate for seniors who need assistance and who are really struggling to hear and communicate.” 33% of people over age 65 have a hearing loss, and the percentage dramatically increases for seniors over 70.

“Many of our senior clients do not have family/friends to advocate for them. They aren’t tech savvy so they can’t access the info via the Internet like younger clients would,” Clinical Practice Manager, Jessie Johnson, said.

“Seniors often deal with many different medical problems, but a hearing loss creates compounding issues. Not being able to hear makes everything more stressful,” added Dr. McLaughlin. “It’s important for seniors to be aware of what’s going on. We’re able to provide assurance and give them some control back over their lives. Studies show that aiding hearing loss can help with cognition, which is an extra tool for a population with cognitive decline.”

At OnLok and at the Hearing and Speech Center, Dr. McLaughlin is there for seniors as an audiologist, as an advocate, and as a friend. “People who come in often just want someone to talk to,” she said. “I’m able to be there as a person in their life and create a sense of connection.”

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