New Jersey is continuing to identify new cases of COVID-19 but our “curve” will continue to flatten but the virus will remain with us for at least the remainder of the year. In my opinion, the “new normal” will include a) social distancing, b) continued use of wearing a mask, c) frequent hand washing, and d) no more hugs for a while.
Telepractice will become increasing popular in all medical fields, including hearing healthcare. Remote programming of hearing aids has been available for several years, but in my opinion, the majority of our patients calling our offices cannot benefit from remote programming. During this pandemic, due to the frequent use of wearing a mask, dozens have “lost” their hearing instruments or broke a receiver wire. Many other patients have a “dead” hearing aid and the only way to fix it is to send it back to the manufacturer.
Remote programming would be a complete waste of time in these instances. We have continued to offer “curbside services” and/or drop off services at our Toms River office. This concierge service is critical during this time of uncertainty as well as the increased importance of communication with family and friends.
As our offices begin to transition to opening again, the “new normal” will require us to scan temperatures, ask patients specific questions related to covid-19 symptoms, stagger appointments so there’s no more than two patients in our office at the same time and allow extra time to disinfect all areas once the patient has left. This “new normal” will significantly limit the total number of patients we can see but it’s absolutely critical to follow these procedures at least for the remainder of the year.
For over 30 years, Garden State Hearing & Balance Center is here to help anyone who is suffering from hearing loss and/or can’t communicate with their loved ones because they’re hearing aid stopped working. In these times of social isolation, it’s imperative that we communicate with our loved ones. We need that connection for psychosocial and cognitive support.
If you need our help, please call us at 732-818-3610. We will be re-opening very soon!
Please stay healthy, stay home, practice social distancing and I promise you there will be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
All the Best!