Hearing loss on its own can be a tough process for you or someone you love to go through. Along with the problems associated with hearing loss, new research now indicates that older adults with hearing impairment are more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative conditions than older adults with normal hearing.
Cognitive abilities, including memory, concentration, and information retention, decline quicker in older adults with hearing impairment than in older adults with normal hearing.
A recent meta-analysis synthesizing several studies showed that the use of hearing restorative devices, like cochlear implants or hearing aids, reduces the risk of long-term cognitive degeneration when compared to individuals with untreated hearing loss.
A Johns Hopkins study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate hearing loss tripled the risk, and individuals with severe hearing impairment had a fivefold risk of developing dementia.
Negative Social & Emotional Implications of Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, hearing loss can lead to loneliness, isolation, and other social issues. Older individuals with hearing problems may become depressed or withdrawn from others out of frustration or embarrassment at being unable to keep up with conversations. Social gatherings with a lot of background noise pose particular difficulties for individuals with hearing impairment.
Sometimes older people are mistakenly thought to be confused, unresponsive, or uncooperative because they don’t hear well. These circumstances can lead to further isolation and depression.
Other Risks of Hearing Loss for Older Adults
Even a small amount of hearing loss can be linked to an increased risk of falls for older adults. Falls can pose many complications and health issues for elderly individuals. Falls are a threat to the health of older adults and can reduce their ability to remain independent. However, falls don’t have to be inevitable with age. In 2020, falls among adults 65 years and above caused over 36,000 deaths, making it the leading cause of injury death for that group.
As you can see, hearing impairment can be a personal and public safety risk. Activities such as driving can be impacted by hearing loss as warning sounds (sirens from emergency vehicles, train whistles) can be harder to hear.
The good news is that getting regular hearing checks and correcting any hearing impairment found are two proven ways for older adults to reduce risks and prevent falls.
San Diego Memory Care Community
BayView Senior Assisted Living is a memory care community located in the coastal community of Point Loma. We’re dedicated to providing gentle, individualized care and support services for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Our home is a caring place where your loved ones can age in place gracefully and with dignity.
BayView provides compassionate support for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Our goal is to improve the physical, social, and spiritual aspects of their lives. We also provide accommodations for those who are receiving end-of-life care. Our innately authentic and genuine staff offers unparalleled service to all residents in a warm, comforting atmosphere. The health and safety of your loved one is our top priority. We have a secured perimeter environment and trained staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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We absolutely love what we do at BayView Senior Assisted Living in Point Loma and cherish the time we spend with our residents, who truly are like family to us. Our team is dedicated to providing a loving, supportive environment in the San Diego area that enriches their lives and ours.
We’re here to answer your questions and would love to show you around if you’re interested in scheduling a tour of BayView Senior Assisted Living.