Caregiver Resources - Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a partial or complete inability to hear; the onset occurs either suddenly or as a gradual decline in how well a person can hear. (6) Hearing loss is one of the fastest growing and prevalent chronic conditions affecting Canadians over the age of 65; more than 30% of these individuals will experience some degree of hearing loss in their lifetime.(4)  The two most common types of hearing loss include age-related (presbycusis) and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).(5)   Untreated hearing loss can negatively impact one’s quality of life. Depression, decreased ability to do normal activities of life, and reduced participation in social activities are symptoms of a person’s inability to cope with hearing loss.(3)  Research has revealed that older adults with unmanaged hearing loss are at increased risk of cognitive decline, developing dementia, and falling.(2)  Hearing aids can improve the lives of even those with significant dementia.

Cost for many is a key consideration when considering buying a hearing aid. Hearing aids and special audio systemshowever they must be purchased from a vendor registered with the Assistive Devices Program (ADP).  ADP will reimburse eligible Ontarians 75% of the cost, including dispensing fee, ear molds and accessories, to a maximum of:

• $500 of the cost of one hearing aid
• $1,000 for two hearing aids
• $1,350 of the cost of a specialized system (1)

Discuss your needs with your doctor or health care professional.

References

1.  Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. (2010). Canadian Hearing Aid Subsidies.  Retrieved February 2014 from: 
     www.chha.ca/documents/Hearing_Aid_Subsidies_Across_Canada.pdf

2.  Canadian Hearing Society. (2013). Facts and Figures. Retrieved February 2014 from:
     http://www.chs.ca/facts-and-figures

3.  National Academy on an Aging Society. (1999). Hearing Loss. Retrieved February 2014 from:
     http://www.agingsociety.org/agingsociety/pdf/hearing.pdf

4.  Public Health Agency of Canada. (2006). Hearing Loss Info-Sheet for Seniors. Retrieved February 2014 from:
     http://seniorspolicylens.ca/Root/Materials/Adobe%20Acrobat%20Materials/Hearing_Loss_Info-Sheet.pdf

5.  The Hearing Foundation of Canada. (2010). Statistics. Retrieved February 2014 from:  
     http://www.thfc.ca/cms/en/KeyStatistics/KeyStatistics.aspx?menuid=87

6. National Institutes of Health. (2013). Hearing Loss and Older Adults. Retrieved February 2014 from: 
    http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/older.aspx