As you age, there are two things that happen almost inevitably to everybody: hearing becomes a little weaker and the body/mind becomes less responsive. Age-related hearing loss can be quite common in our population, as is cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer's. However, a recent report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the US found that caregivers' plans for those with a cognitive impairment rarely address hearing loss.
This is an alarming fact seeing as age-related hearing loss can actually lead to a cognitive decline. Let's learn more about the relation between these two common conditions and how they influence one another.
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline
The study conducted by NCBI found that 60 per cent of their sample of older adults with cognitive impairment had a form of mild hearing loss at the very least. However, there have been several studies over the years that have linked hearing loss and dementia, as hearing loss can lead to a decline in brain activity.
This makes sense – when one party cannot hear the other speaking, the party is not likely to respond. A caregiver, however, might not understand that their companion isn't hearing them properly, but rather they would interpret the other person as being rude. As a result, the person with hearing loss is missing out on a whole world of activity via learning, and an active brain is one of the key factors in keeping the mind sharp.
Step number one? Getting a hearing solution.
How can we better care for those with hearing loss
Knowing this, caregivers and those with hearing loss alike can work together to develop more effective treatment plans. Step number one? Getting a hearing solution. Simply, hearing aids and other devices ease communication, as half of communication is hearing.
Supplying those with hearing loss with the adequate technology to hear better again is just one simple step in helping their brain remain sharp throughout the ageing process. These devices allow people to engage in nearly normal conversation once again and can more easily partake in activities that they otherwise would have refrained from doing. Just one checkup at your audiologist can help renew the life of someone who you suspect has hearing loss.
Book a hearing test at no cost* with Adelaide Digital Hearing for your loved one simply by clicking here, or alternatively you can call us on 1800 940 982.