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Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses. Most often, AD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050. Source: Wikipedia

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias affect 747,000 Canadians and yet only 33% of people are diagnosed. Older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than older adults without hearing loss, according to a hearing loss study by hearing experts at Johns Hopkins

Adaptive technology can help

Stay active and connected to those you love, the CSC 500 telephone helps people with dementia connect easily with picture dialing buttons and a pre-set volume control feature means that you set the volume for your hearing loss and lock it in so that you never have to re-set when talking on the phone. The CSC500 phone is on sale now at Shop CHS.

The Canadian Hearing Society’s Communication Devices Program offers a full range of adaptive technology services and solutions from initial consultation to sales, installation and training. Our prices are competitive and proceeds from the sale of communication devices are reinvested directly into the CHS programs and services we offer. Learn more about the CHS Communication Devices Program.

Alzheimer’s, hearing loss and hearing aids

For those patients who experience Alzheimer’s and hearing loss, there is sometimes a misperception that hearing aids can’t help.  The fact is, input from the auditory system stimulates our brain to process and comprehend the world around us. For the hard of hearing Alzheimer’s patient, hearing aids help with interpersonal relationships, reduce communication stress and assist in providing electrical stimulation to the brain. The brain is the common denominator between audition and memory. Addressing hearing loss allows the brain to continue to be stimulated and helps the patient stay alert.  Therefore, patients with Alzheimer’s should get their hearing tested early on so that the benefits from amplification are introduced as soon as possible.

Unless the patient actually rejects wearing hearing aids, it is recommended to pursue them in order to provide auditory stimulation and improve receptive communication.  If there is a hearing loss in both ears, it’s preferred that the patient use two hearing aids.  However, sometimes one hearing aid may be enough.  As a general rule for Alzheimer patients, the more automatic the hearing aid is for functions relating to the telephone, volume and noise reduction, the better. A CHS audiologist will know what to do and what may help best. 

Learn more about hearing tests and how a hearing aid could improve your or your loved one’s level of communication and understanding. If hearing loss is present, now is the time to speak to us about a hearing aid.

 

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