Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions in the United States, affecting 1 in 2 adults over age 75, and 1 in 3 adults between the ages of 65-74. Hearing loss has long been known to impact communication, relationships and quality of life for those affected by it. Scientists are now realizing that there is a significant connection between hearing loss and cognitive health as well.
Hearing Loss is Tied to Memory Loss and Dementia
A 2011 study found that older adults with hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing, and in fact, the degree of hearing loss correlated with the risk. Those with mild hearing loss were two times more likely to develop dementia, those with moderate hearing loss were three times more likely, and those with severe hearing loss were five times more likely to develop dementia.
A 2013 study found that memory and concentration declined faster in seniors with hearing loss than in those without. Scientists are not sure why this correlation exists, and they aren’t sure that hearing loss is actually the exact cause of the cognitive decline. For example, people with hearing loss are less likely to engage in social situations, which is known to improve and maintain cognitive function. Scientists are continuing to study the relationship between hearing and cognitive loss, to see what, if anything, can be done to prevent it.
Can Treating Hearing Loss Slow or Stop Dementia?
The National Institute of Aging recently funded a clinical study to investigate whether correcting hearing loss can impact the development of dementia or cognitive decline. This study will follow 850 adults without dementia, aged 70-84, over the course of three years, collecting key data about hearing and cognitive health throughout this period. They are hopeful that this will give them more insight and data to clarify whether treating hearing loss can reduce its impact on cognition.
Home Care can Help with Hearing Loss and Dementia
Home care services can help with hearing aid care in a number of ways. Home care can assist with transportation to audiology appointments, or for hearing aid maintenance, for example. Home care aides can help seniors take out hearing aids at night, put them in each morning, and change batteries when needed. Home care aides can also provide valuable companionship to hearing impaired individuals, who may be feeling isolated due to hearing loss. Home care assistance with shopping or errands may help those with severe hearing loss, who find it exhausting to interact with members of the public.
Home care is also a good resource for people who have dementia, offering everything from companionship and activity engagement, to meal reminders, to help with shopping, housework and personal care. Home care can help seniors with dementia walk, garden or get regular exercise, which helps their physical and mental health, and promotes good sleep.
Home care services are completely customizable, based on the needs and preferences of each individual senior. Home care can help seniors with hearing loss or dementia live their highest quality of life in the comfort of their own home.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Olney, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585.