Hearing Loss In The Elderly: A Silent Epidemic

Hearing loss in the elderly has been associated with an increased risk for dementia and depressive disorders. It is also believed to be a major contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease. Many people think that hearing loss is an unfortunate part of the aging process. Often, they try to solve the problem with generic sound amplifiers. When these devices fail to deliver results, they settle for a lesser quality of life.

woman with a hearing aid in

However, there is a viable solution → professional hearing aids.

Hearing Loss In The Elderly And How It Impacts Them

According to the AARP, hearing loss is a silent epidemic. Two-thirds of seniors in their 70s suffer from hearing loss, compared to about 30% of middle-aged Americans. Hearing loss is a significant challenge for the former.

Additionally, many seniors believe that hearing aids are stigmatizing. Their concerns are understandable. In fact, legislators who proposed the first Medicare bill ignored the challenges associated with hearing loss. They excluded hearing aids altogether from the list of Medicare benefits. Today, hearing aids are still excluded and are the financial responsibility of the patient.  Thus, many seniors must live with the perceived stigma of hearing loss and endure a diminished quality of life. They cannot attend movies, plays, or concerts. Additionally, they find it difficult to navigate conversations, particularly when they must contend with background noise.

How The Right Hearing Aids Can Help

Due to cost considerations, many seniors rely on cheap hearing aids that are not programmed to their specific needs. These devices often prove ineffective. They simply amplify all sounds, which is not particularly helpful.

A recent AARP study uncovered even more cause for concern. Experts compared the brains of people from ages 61 to 73 with those from ages 18 to 27. The study found that seniors are less adept at processing conversations when they hear other sounds at the same time. Basically, older adults fared worse than younger people at understanding speech in noisy environments.

Thus, properly configured hearing aids are even more important than previously thought in making a difference in the lives of seniors.

So, if you’re thinking about better solutions for your loved one, contact us. We’re here to help and assure you that we understand your concerns. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (877) 216-7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn