The AA has rolled out free hearing consultations to its more than a million Personal Members in a move it hopes will see more Kiwis get the support they need in dealing with hearing loss.
A report commissioned by the National Foundation for the Deaf estimated that in 2016 around 880,250 people in New Zealand (18.9 per cent) suffered some form of hearing loss, at a total cost to the economy of $957.3M*. It also found many New Zealanders experienced substantial barriers in accessing the technology they needed to improve their quality of life.
AA Membership and Brand General Manager Dougal Swift said he believes that the new Member Benefit offered in partnership with Bay Audiology and Dilworth Hearing clinics across New Zealand will open the doors to more support.
“The first step for Members is to book a free hearing check at a Bay Audiology or a Dilworth Hearing clinic, and if hearing loss is detected AA Members will be entitled to a free Diagnostic Consultation (valued at up to $120) to confirm the presence and extent of your hearing loss. Special hearing aid offers will also be available to ensure Members always save,” Dougal said
Dilworth Hearing Audiologist Veronica Hoffman said hearing loss often occurs gradually, with many people not even aware of it.
“Often it’s a family member or friend that suggests seeking help. I’d love to see everyone over 50 years of age have their hearing checked, as well as anyone else who has concerns. There’s a wide range of hearing solutions available to assist people, with hearing aids smaller, smarter and more discrete than ever,” Veronica said.
For the AA it’s all part of a campaign to improve the quality of life for Members as it evolves from being a motoring-centred organisation to a Member-centred organisation.
“We’ve put more focus on the expansion of the AA Member Benefit programme. Many will be familiar with our free eye exam offer at Specsavers, available once every two years, and in July we launched a free annual 5-spot skin check at Skin Institute. It’s all about making everyday health care more affordable for our Members,” Dougal added.
*Listen Hear! New Zealand February 2017 Social and economic costs of hearing loss in New Zealand report.
^ Visit aa.co.nz/hearing-services for more details.