Hearing Loss and Dementia
Hearing and Dementia
Research has shown that there is a link between hearing loss and an increased risk of dementia.
When someone has a hearing loss, their brain has to work hard to take in spoken information, with dementia the brain has to work even harder.
Aiding the hearing can give someone the best chance of catching the sounds they would otherwise miss. Hearing aids can make the most of their residual hearing. This enables someone with dementia to stay connected to people, maintain communication, and keep their brain active and engaged. If hearing aids are not suitable for an individual, there may be other equipment that could help, so it’s worth discussing the options with an audiologist.
Someone with dementia may need encouragement to wear hearing aids and might need help putting them in and out, checking they are clean, checking that batteries have been changed and that they are working well.
There are a few things you can do to help when speaking to someone who has a hearing loss and dementia:
- Get their attention before speaking to them
- Face them so they can see other visual clues and facial expressions
- Speak clearly but don’t shout
- Don’t be afraid to repeat sentences or try using different wording
- Turn off background noise where possible, e.g. mute the TV or wait for the kettle to boil
Further information can be found here:
Sight and hearing loss with dementia | Alzheimer’s Society (alzheimers.org.uk)
Hearing loss and dementia: how are they linked? – RNID
Sense Cog – Promoting Health for Eyes, Ears and mind. (sense-cog.eu)