A Geriatrician-Audiologist Conversation: How Can We Work Together to Improve Hearing Care and Build Accessible Communities to Help Canadians Age Well?
BREAKFAST AND KEYNOTE SESSION
The language used in the descriptions reflects the language of the sessions.
Hearing loss is the second largest contributor to the Global Burden of Disease. It affects many older adults who live independently and it complicates caregiving, home care and long-term care. Hearing loss is the greatest potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia. In addition to increasing risks to psychological health, hearing loss also increases risks to physical health (e.g. falls) and social health (e.g. social withdrawal and loneliness). Nevertheless, hearing loss often remains an invisible disability. Epidemiological evidence underscores the importance of hearing in healthy aging, yet audiologists and people who are hard of hearing are still searching for ways to integrate awareness of and solutions for hearing-related problems into a broader approach to healthy aging.
How could a new approach benefit people who are hard of hearing when they access services in the health care system and as they live their lives in the community? In this interprofessional conversation, we will draw on lessons learned regarding re-engineering care in geriatric medicine and developing age-friendly communities. From this foundation, we will explore new strategies for shifting from traditional hearing care to new approaches that could integrate hearing care more effectively into interprofessional practice and age-friendly policy initiatives.