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Mobile hearing clinic shows support and care for North Shore seniors

“Who would have thought our clinic was so pandemic prepared?” says Jennifer Abbott, hearing aid practitioner and founder of Hear at Home Mobile Hearing Clinic.
Jennifer Abbott, founder, Hear at Home.

“Who would have thought our clinic was so pandemic prepared?” says Jennifer Abbott, hearing aid practitioner and founder of Hear at Home Mobile Hearing Clinic.

The 11-year-old business safely delivers hearing services to those people who cannot get to a hearing clinic at any given time. “Other than additional PPE (gowns, face masks, etc.) and pre-screening questionnaires, very few changes had to be made to our business model,” says Abbott.

The company offers hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and follow-up appointments to their clients in the comfort of their homes, extended care facilities or hospitals. Adult children of aging parents rest a little easier knowing that since Hear at Home is an essential service, B.C. Health allows them safe access to seniors who are still in lockdown.

“While our seniors are being quarantined, we need to keep them hearing and connecting to their loved ones whether it be via telephone or plastic barriers. One’s mental health is already being challenged in these times, so we need to lessen the burden as much as possible,” Abbott says. Physical/social distancing and masking makes it extra challenging for seniors with hearing loss to be able to communicate with their families and care givers as well.

Additional support to our most vulnerable citizens during COVID-19 involved Hear at Home’s online Zoom clinics for seniors and caregivers to help them use and care for their hearing devices.

“I taught them how to clean their hearing aids and offered any support or advice they have that was specific to their needs,” says the 13-year expert in the hearing health business. In addition, the company offers 80-90 volunteer hours to healthcare providers and nursing staff giving how-to lessons, setting them up for success in supporting their residents and/or patients.

Hear at Home Mobile Hearing Clinic has received accolades including winning Best of the North Shore, 2012 and 2013 in North Shore Outlook and Readers’ Choice award 2018 and 2019 in the North Shore News.

Clearly committed to seniors with a sense of joie de vivre, the company organized five flash mobs throughout the North Shore a few years back. The first event in Edgemont Village had nearly 200 local seniors from various retirement homes happily taking part and was a huge hit. Global News featured it, and “phone calls and emails poured in asking if the seniors would perform their “flash mob” at other events,” says Abbott.

Follow up performances took place at the North Shore Art Crawl, Edgemont Show and Shine, CoHo Festival and Canada Day the following year. It’s touching to see a company create a smart marketing strategy that actually has heart as well, and the seniors and audiences watching had a blast.

Not surprisingly, increased demand for this unique mobile hearing health service has the company currently planning for expansion across B.C.

“We understand how hearing connects people,” says Abbott. “Helen Keller explained this best when she said, ‘Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.’ We see this every day, and our goal is to keep people connecting.”