Hearing Center of Long Island - December 2017

(516) 872-8485 www.HearingCenterofLI.com

December 2017

Long Island Sound

The Greatest Gift of All

Every holiday season, my wife and I see my family for Christmas Eve. My mother spends hours in the kitchen, preparing a sumptuous feast for the big group in attendance. We enjoy the delicious food as we chat and catch up on each other’s busy lives. Before the meal it is my job to say grace, a task I do not take lightly. I always make sure to prepare a little for this occasion to make it as meaningful as possible. My three nephews are now in junior high school, high school, and college. I like to discuss this with them ahead of time and give a few prompts to get them thinking of something to add to the prayer before the meal. My mom always worries I am going to go on too long, and says so … every year. I do my best not to keep everyone away from the food for too long, but it means a lot to me to be able to spend at least a few minutes reflecting on those things we are most grateful for, the meaning of the holiday season, and remembering those who are no longer with us, while recognizing the contributions of those who still are. After the meal we exchange a few presents, but with my nephews growing up, gifts have taken a backseat during the holidays. I think as most people get older they begin to value experiences more than possessions and get more out of giving than receiving. I know that is true for me. I am sure many of my readers would agree that the greatest gift of all is not something any of us can buy

but the opportunity to gather and enjoy each other’s company. Throughout my years of experience with patients, I have found that the holiday season can be a challenging time for people who struggle with hearing loss. As families gather together, oftentimes those with hearing loss have the impulse to withdraw, to avoid the frustration of hearing difficulty. Since inadequate hearing can make connecting with loved ones difficult and frustrating, it is common to want to retreat from such interactions. In turn, family members may not understand the barriers to communication you face every day and may perceive you as a Grinch. In reality, you may be frustrated with repeated miscommunications and the burden hearing loss puts on both you and your loved ones. It saddens me to see someone finding it difficult to communicate with the people they care about most, especially during the holiday season. If you are among those who tend to withdraw from family gatherings, know that it does not have to be that way. While it may not be possible to restore your hearing to perfection, with proper assistance and communication strategies you can learn to engage in those important conversation more effectively and enjoy connecting with friends and loved ones. If you are a friend or family member of someone who suffers from hearing difficulty, please be patient with them and try to understand

Dr. Larry in the holiday spirit.

their predicament. Simple things like speaking more slowly, facing the listener, and trying to avoid background noise can help a lot. I assure you, they would like nothing better than to converse freely with you. This time of the year is meant to be spent with the people we care about most, and it makes me appreciate the work I get to do every day. If I can help one person overcome their hearing loss and enjoy the holidays more, then I have done my job. The privilege to serve my wonderful patients will be on my mind this Christmas as I sit with my family and cherish all the incredible opportunities we have been given.

–We’re listening to you.®

–Lawrence Cardano, Au.D.

• 1 www.HearingCenterofLI.com

The Rightsizing Retirement Revolution

that you’re moving into a monetary space that’s right for you, rather than sacrificing aspects of your life for something cheaper. With rightsizing, nothing matters more to the financial success of your retirement, regardless of the breadth of your budget, than carefully managing your spending. Seems obvious, right? But according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute report, 46 percent of retirees actually increase their spending after leaving the workforce. In order to prepare for retirement, you need to be start living below your means as soon as possible and develop habits that will last until long after you’ve left the workforce. And no, this certainly doesn’t have to be as grim a process as it sounds. You don’t need to give up the things you love to do or purchase. It simply means taking a hard look at your surroundings, your possessions, and your spending. Are you sticking around in a house much larger than you need, simply because it’s

full of old stuff? It might be time to jettison the junk lying around and give your mind — and your budget — some wiggle room. What do you actually need in your life? And how much of your spending is simply to impress others? These are tough questions, but if you want to have a fulfilling, 20-year retirement, they’re absolutely essential things to consider. If you really want to zero in on your expenses, use an app like Mint or iFinance that imports your banking data and organizes your spending by category. You’ll definitely find at least one surprise on your spending pie chart.

“After living with hearing loss for years, I finally went to the Hearing Center of Long Island. From testing and diagnosis, to choosing the right hearing aids and explaining how they work, to processing of insurance, the doctors and their staff could not have been more helpful and friendly. “It has been a totally positive and life- changing experience. I can hear so much that I didn’t know was missing — even including birds and other nature sounds and the full range of music. I can understand people in group settings, on the phone, and communicate better in all situations, which brings me closer to family and friends. “Learning about and using this incredible technology has truly enhanced my life and has made me a happier person. Thank you!” 2 • We’re listening to you. A recent Google consumer survey reported that almost 50 percent of the baby boomer generation has less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. What’s more, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, the average boomer has a nest egg of about $8,178 per year for a 20-year retirement, and 41 percent of the generation has no retirement savings whatsoever. But, despite these troubling statistics, retirement is feasible for nearly all of us. It just requires a bit of “rightsizing.” As opposed to downsizing, rightsizing implies

It’s vital that you acknowledge that your happiness has nothing to do with your stuff. This fact will only be thrown into sharper relief as you age. After all, you can’t take a high-end coffee maker or fancy curtains with you when you pass. Trim your life down to the essentials and live with the comfort that you’ll retire with money to spare. What Our Patients Are Saying

Dr. Larry and Jonathan

-Jonathan A. Katz, Valley Stream, NY

The Benefits of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

At Hearing Center of Long Island, we are constantly investigating the latest developments in hearing aid technology. Today’s hearing aids have come a long way from their older cousins. As digital technology progresses at a breakneck pace, hearing devices have followed suit. This allows us provide benefits to our patients that were not possible in the past. This includes not only improvements in hearing, but also improvements in technology in which there have recently been significant improvements that help make hearing aids more convenient to use is rechargeable battery technology. Rechargeable hearing aids have been around for a long time, but a number of limitations made them impractical. Those limitations included problems with how long a charge would last and limited advanced hearing aid features that could be included. With some very recent improvements, those limitations have been overcome. There are a number of reasons some people would like to avoid having to change hearing aid batteries. Though none of our patients need to worry about battery WE HAVE TWO EARS AND ONE MOUTH SO WE CAN LISTEN TWICE AS MUCH AS WE SPEAK. -Epictetus On Listening cosmetics and convenience. One of the areas of hearing aid

cost, since we provide batteries completely free of charge, not having to replace batteries or worry about accidentally running out of batteries can be a significant improvement in convenience for some. For others, manual dexterity problems make changing batteries difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, at Hearing Center of Long Island, when these issues are a concern, we can usually help our patients choose a rechargeable option that works for them. Most respected hearing aid manufacturers now offer some version of a rechargeable hearing aid option. We work with virtually all of them. Some use a design in which the battery is sealed in the hearing aid and cannot be changed by the user. Others have designed their system so that the rechargeable battery can be changed by the user and a standard battery can be used if one forgets to charge the batteries overnight or chooses not to bring the small charger with them when traveling. The batteries can usually be fully charged in about 3 hours. In most cases, the rechargeable batteries will last about 18–24 hours after being fully charged. If you are charging them overnight, that means that they will always work for a full day of use. Easy Holiday Party Cheese Fondue • ¾ cup dry white wine • 1 tablespoon cornstarch • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced Swiss cheese Ingredients

As a side note, some, though not all, hearing aids that do not use rechargeable batteries can now be retrofitted and converted to use of rechargeable batteries. (If you are wondering if this applies to your hearing aids, just ask one of our audiologists.) No particular hearing aid technology feature is most appropriate for everyone. At Hearing Center of Long Island, we are dedicated to customizing hearing solutions to the needs and preferences of each individual. Rechargeable technology is one more tool we use to do that.

• Foods to dip (apple slices, bread cubes, roasted vegetables, etc.)

• 1 clove garlic • Salt to taste Instructions

1. In a large bowl, whisk together wine and cornstarch. 2. Chop cheese slices into small, uniform pieces. 3. Rub clove of garlic all over the sides and bottom of a heavy-bottomed pot, then discard. 4. Heat wine mixture over medium-low heat in the pot until thick and bubbling. Add some cheese and slowly whisk. When nearly smooth, add more cheese and whisk gently. Repeat until all cheese is melted. If mixture seems too tight, add 1 tablespoon wine. 5. Season with salt and serve immediately. Keep pot on low heat to keep the fondue dippable.

The Sound of Laughter Q: Why did the elf feel badly about himself? A: He had low elf esteem.

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(Recipe inspired by PinchofYum.com.)

(516) 872-8485

46 Rockaway Avenue Valley Stream, NY 11580 (516) 872-8485 www.HearingCenterofLI.com


The Greatest Gift of All Page 1 INSIDE This Issue

Are You Financially Prepared for Retirement?

What Our Patients Are Saying Page 2

The Benefits of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Take a Break Page 3

Stop Wasting Gift Wrap! Page 4

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3 Creative Gift Wrap Alternatives

There’s something magical about seeing a stack of presents wrapped in bright, multicolored paper. However, that enchanting scene quickly evaporates a few hours later when all those wads of wrapping paper and plastic bows are chucked unceremoniously into the garbage. What if we told you there are countless ways you can still enjoy wrapping and unwrapping presents, without all the waste? Here are a few creative gift wrap alternatives to consider With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, and if you opt out of plastic grocery bags, you’re sure to have a surplus of brown paper bags in the pantry. Drop a present into the bag, tape it shut, and you’re good to go. Add some simple lace or a ribbon for an old-timey this holiday season. Brown Paper Bags

feel or get creative with stamps and hand-drawn artwork. This wrap job lets

your imagination run wild. Old Maps and Calendars

These days, pretty much every phone has a built-in GPS, so you probably won’t need the map from your 1999 road trip anytime soon. If you still have an old map, why not use that for wrapping? The unusual designs guarantee your gifts will be one of a kind. And don’t worry if there are notes scrawled across the paper. Old events or directions will add some unique flair to the presents. Furoshiki Fabric is an excellent substitute for wrapping paper. You can use a scarf to create two gifts in one or pull out scraps of fabric from old projects. The traditional Japanese practice of furoshiki

is all about wrapping goods in fabric. Described as “functional fabric origami,” you’d be amazed at how a few well- placed folds can turn your gift into a work of art. Learn how to wrap anything, from boxes to bottles, at ceas.ku.edu/ furoshiki-instructional-videos. You don’t have to follow the same gift wrap habits year after year. After the effort you put into finding just the right present, you should be able to make your gift wrap just as special. Find a method that’s uniquely you and get started!

4 • We’re listening to you.

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