Ear Research Foundation Helps Deaf Woman Hear Her Terminally Ill Husband Again

Posted on

May 18, 2021

Share This
For more information on the Ear Research Center, or to donate for Debras continuing care or help other people like her, please CLICK HERE!

Debra Bergeron is a wife and caretaker of her terminally ill husband, Ron Bergeron. She is also deaf. And Ron has been relentlessly sought help for her to hear his voice before he passes. Debra received a fundamental surgery in October 2020, followed by the activation of her cochlear implant -- a surgically implanted hearing device sometimes referred to as a bionic ear -- the following November.It is said to provide sound for people suffering from sensorineural hearing loss in both ears by bypassing the damaged hair cells in the cochlea and transmitting sound directly to the auditory nerve and on to the brain.Debra was already profoundly deaf in her right ear; her left ear went deaf while waiting nine months for new hearing aids. Debra cannot benefit from a hearing aid any longer because of the severity of her hearing loss and aids not being able to amplify adequately to give her speech understanding. She became a cochlear implant candidate.

The cochlear implant costs about $30,000. With no health insurance of her own, and her husband on full disability, fear creeped in for the Sarasota couple.My biggest fear was who would take care of my husband," she shares. "If something should happen to him, I would not be able to hear him." Ron expressed fears in the wake of his diagnosis of a terminal disease as well, but more for his wife, than for himself. I was very fearful of her not being able to function alone," he says. So, he called various institutions for help and was finally referred to Sarasota's Ear Research Foundation, founded by Dr. Herbert Silverstein.The 501C-3 provides medical education in an Otology Clinical Fellowship training program in a private setting all while expanding its programs to include an ear clinic for indigent patients.
The foundations team worked tirelessly to coordinate both party's wishes and ease both their fears the past few months. Dr. Jack Wazen and Dr. Sharon Rende, AuD agreed to donate their professional services. In a concerted effort to contribute due to the heartwarming local story, Sarasota Memorial Hospital generously offered a reduced cost. However, more funding was still needed. When the cost of the surgery, hospital and follow-up care are factored in, the expense is upwards of $100,000. Its truly wonderful to witness how foundations from different states stepped up and made the gift of hearing possible for Mrs. Bergeron, says Jodel Velarde, Ear Research Foundation Coordinator.

Still,no one entity had the remaining resources and extensive funds to foot the hefty aforementioned price tag of this particular surgery.Fortunately, Eileen Jones, founder of the former Gift of Hearing Foundation in MA, shared an organization called Jacobs Ride for Hearing of Annapolis, MD. Jacobs Ride worked directly with the hospital to provide resources to help cover the expenses of the surgery and then we worked with an anonymous third-party charity that provides the cochlear implant equipment,"says Randy Landis, Executive Director of Jacobs Ride for Hearing. "In this case, we were fortunate to have a private foundation donate the equipment."

To guide Debra into entering a world of sounds, the Ear Research Foundation will continue to provide post-operative care and give additional financial support through the Help Us Hear program. Ive been doing the cochlear implant cases for more than twenty years. 1998 was my first one and it is still just as exciting today as it was then says Dr. Sharon Rende, Silverstein Institutes Director of Audiology.
Debra, who turned 62 early October shares, I was given the best birthday gift anyone could ask for. This will change our lives drastically. Everything that has been done for us has been a godsend.

Other Articles You May Like

The Financial Benefits of In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living

Families that are looking to ensure the best care for their loved ones in their later years are torn between in-home care and assisted living facilities. While both options have merits, understanding the financial implications can help you make informed decisions.Read on to explore the financial benefits of in-home care when compared to assisted living.Flexibility in Services and CostsIn-home care offers great flexibility, allowing families to customize care plans according to their needs and budgets. Whether your loved one requires full-time care or just a few hours of assistance daily, you can tailor the services to match their requirements. This flexibility helps manage costs effectively, as you only pay for the services you need, avoiding the all-inclusive fees typically associated with assisted living facilities.Staying in a Familiar EnvironmentOne of the most significant advantages of in-home care is that it allows seniors to remain in their own homes. This provides emotional comfort and eliminates the substantial costs of relocating to an assisted living facility. Homeownership often means that many seniors have already paid their mortgages, making home care a financially attractive option. This also avoids the often-overlooked expenses of selling a home, moving costs, and adjusting to a new living environment.Avoiding Additional FeesAssisted living facilities often charge additional fees beyond the base rate, including charges for medication management, personal care, and even higher levels of assistance. In-home care, however, allows for a more transparent and straightforward fee structure. By discussing needs upfront with a home care provider, families can better anticipate costs and avoid unexpected expenses.Personalization of CareIn-home care offers a one-on-one care dynamic that is hard to match in assisted living facilities. This personalized attention ensures that seniors receive consistent and tailored care, which can lead to better health outcomes and potentially lower healthcare costs over time. Personalized care can help prevent hospital readmissions and manage chronic conditions more effectively, saving money on medical expenses.Leveraging Family and Community SupportFriends, family members, and local community resources can supplement professional care, reducing costs. This collaborative approach helps financially and fosters a stronger sense of community and support for the senior.Home EquityIn-home care allows families to utilize home equity through various financial instruments such as reverse mortgages. This can provide a steady income stream to pay for in-home care services without selling the family home. This financial strategy can be particularly advantageous, offering a way to fund care while preserving the familys most valuable asset.Government and Insurance SupportMedicaid, Medicare, and various long-term care insurance plans often provide benefits that can offset the costs of in-home care services. Understanding and using these benefits can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses, making in-home care a more affordable option. Choosing between in-home care and assisted living involves carefully considering many factors, with financial implications being a major aspect. HomeWell Care Services can help you explore care options for your loved ones. Contact us at our Sarasota location by clicking here or our Bradenton location by clicking here or by phoning us at 941-303-5642.

How HomeWell Care Services Celebrates Pride

June is here and that means its almost time to celebrate Pride Month! This colorful month helps show support for members of the LGBTQIA+ community by acknowledging their history, cultures, and society. But how does HomeWell Care Services celebrate pride, and what can you expect from their services?Why Is Pride Month Celebrated in June?Some of you might be wondering why Pride Month is celebrated in June of all months. This is because what was considered the first pride parade was thrown on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, with the parade happening on June 28th, 1970.Over the years, other pride events spread, often celebrated in June. In June 1999, the American president at the time, Bill Clinton, declared June Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, which has been shortened to simply Pride Month over the years. In that way, the history of Pride Month has been rooted in the communitys history from the very beginning. The entire month becomes a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, but more importantly, about love, connection, and being true to oneself.HomeWell Care Services and PrideLove and connection are something the staff at HomeWell Care Services takes pride in, as they allow their clients to be true to themselves as they provide them with the highest quality care possible. Their caregivers are culturally competent, allowing them to provide their services along with great human connection and respect.  Along with other support services, HomeWell Care Services offers the following:      Personal Care: As we age, things that we do every day, such as getting dressed in the morning or preparing meals, can become more difficult. Personal care plans from HomeWell Care Services let aging seniors or those suffering from medical conditions or other injuries manage their independence that much easier.      Concierge Care: Are you looking to have an outing, but require someone to go with you so that you can truly enjoy yourself? This service offers that in spades. With experienced caregivers ready to go, outings will be designed so that you can have a blast and have great conversations with your caregiver as you do!      Life Enrichment Activities Program (LEAP): Social isolation is a big worry for those who are older and still live at home. HomeWell Care Services therefore offers LEAP as a way to break up the loneliness of the day. A caregiver will come over to enjoy an activity with you, be it something like enjoying a craft or even an afternoon in the garden. Is Homewell a Good Fit for Me?Choosing the right care service is a deeply personal decision, and HomeWell Care Services understands this. They strive to create a customized care experience that respects your unique needs and preferences.Whether you require assistance with daily activities, want to enjoy a day out, or seek companionship to alleviate loneliness, HomeWell Care Services offers a comprehensive range of services to enhance your quality of life. Their compassionate and culturally competent caregivers are dedicated to providing not only exceptional care but also meaningful human connections. With HomeWell Care Services, you can trust that you or your loved one will receive respectful, personalized, and enriching care thats specifically tailored to promote independence and well-being. At HomeWell Care Services, we believe that every client should have pride in themselves, especially during Pride Month! Contact us at our Sarasota location by clicking here or our Bradenton location by clicking here or by phoning us at 941-303-5642.

Signs Your Loved One May Need In-Home Care

As our loved ones age, their needs change. You may start to wonder if they can still manage safely and comfortably at home on their own. In-home care can be a fantastic solution, providing assistance and companionship while allowing seniors to remain independent in a familiar environment. But how do you know when is the right time for in-home care? Here are some signs to look out for.Changes in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are the fundamental tasks we must perform to care for ourselves, like bathing, dressing, eating, and using the toilet. If your loved one struggles with these tasks, it could be a sign that they require assistance. This struggle might include difficulty getting in and out of the shower, needing help with buttons or zippers, or forgetting to eat meals.Physical LimitationsPhysical limitations can also necessitate in-home care. Observe if your loved one has become unsteady on their feet, has difficulty using stairs, or experiences frequent fatigue. These limitations can increase the risk of falls and injuries.Altered Memory or Cognitive FunctionMemory lapses, confusion, and disorientation can be signs of cognitive decline. Pay attention to forgetfulness about medications, appointments, or familiar routines. If your loved one struggles to follow conversations or make sound decisions, it might be time to consider in-home care that can provide support and supervision.Home Safety ConcernsLook for potential hazards in your loved one's home environment. Are there loose rugs or uneven flooring that could cause falls? Is the bathroom slippery or lacking grab bars? A cluttered home can also pose safety risks. In-home care providers can help ensure a safe living space if these concerns exist.Reduced Personal HygieneA decline in personal hygiene can indicate that the person struggles to care for themselves. This might include infrequent bathing, unkempt hair or clothing, or a noticeable lack of cleanliness in the home.Social Isolation and DepressionThese are common issues among seniors, especially those living alone. If your loved one has withdrawn from social activities, seems withdrawn or downcast, or loses interest in hobbies they used to enjoy, in-home care can provide companionship and social interaction.Changes in Eating HabitsPay attention to their eating habits. Are they neglecting to go grocery shopping or cook meals?  Do they seem to be losing weight unintentionally? These changes could indicate nutritional deficiencies or difficulty in preparing meals. In-home care can help with meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation.Family Caregiver StrainIf you are the primary caregiver for your loved one, it's important to acknowledge your limitations. Are you feeling overwhelmed or exhausted? Is caring for them impacting your own health or well-being? In-home care can provide much-needed respite and support for family caregivers.Making the DecisionIf you recognize several of these signs in your loved one, it's time to discuss in-home care. This can feel sensitive, but approaching it with love and concern can help ease the transition. There are many reputable in-home care agencies available to provide the level of support your loved one needs, allowing them to maintain their independence and age comfortably at home. Don't let your loved ones age in isolation or struggle with daily tasks. HomeWell Care Services provides compassionate in-home care that promotes safety, dignity, and independence. Contact us at our Sarasota location by clicking here or our Bradenton location by clicking here or by phoning us at 941-303-5642.