Did you know 50 percent of adults over the age of 75 experience significant hearing loss, but only 1 in three people over seventy who have significant hearing loss wear hearing aids? If you are among the many older adults who have hearing loss, you know that hearing loss, more than any other sensory deficit, cuts you off from fully engaging with others. You may not be able to enjoy the information shared in classes, participate in conversations during lunch at the Bistro, or hear family members adequately over the phone.
Not surprisingly, hearing loss has been linked to increased isolation and depression, but there are also studies correlating hearing loss with increased risk of falls and even cognitive decline. Despite the negative effects of hearing loss, many older adults understandably don’t wear hearing aids because they can be uncomfortable, difficult to care for, expensive, and they may not meet the user’s sound expectations. Fortunately, since the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act was signed into law in 2017, hearing loss resources and technology are becoming more readily available to the public at reasonable prices. There are also common sense tips one can employ to better enable themselves to hear in certain settings and during social encounters. However, few older adults are aware of the emerging resources and tips that could prove beneficial, and we’d like to work towards fixing that.
Just as Beatitudes has hosted a Low Vision Support Group for years, residents are looking to create a Hearing Loss Support Group on Campus. The aim of this monthly group will be to invite guest speakers, such as audiology professionals, technology providers, and local government hearing loss program representatives to share the latest information and resources, while also drawing upon the experience and knowledge of Campus attendees. We hope you’ll consider joining us for our first monthly meeting on Friday, June 28th at 1PM in AgeLink Classroom 1. As this will be our first meeting, feel free to come prepared with ideas for potential guest speakers and questions you’d like to have answered by our future guests. Let’s tackle hearing loss together!