Family Caregiver - Hearing Injury

Audiologist Assistance to Family Caregivers

By Dennis A. Colucci, AuD, MA

 

 

The explosion of older adults in need of home healthcare is overwhelming, leaving families and friends with the responsibility of caregiving, including hearing care. Hearing loss and changes to central auditory processing have been shown to affect brain size, memory and cognitive processing, and possibly, Alzheimer’s disease (Colucci. HJ 2015:4;48). Because hearing aids can reduce the effects of central presbycusis, using them should be a daily priority. Implementing hearing care does not need to be burdensome; rather, it can be routine when hearing devices are easy to use and a simple written schedule of use, functional operations, and cleaning and maintenance is put in place.

 

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, AARP, and The Public Policy Institute’s 2015 Report, “Caregiving in the U.S.,” there are 43.5 million unpaid caregivers, with 85 percent taking care of a relative or friend (http://bit. ly/1YgGy0w). Forty-nine percent are taking care of a parent, 15 percent are caring for a friend, and 14 percent are caring for a child. Eighty-two percent are providing care to a single individual. On average, caregivers are 49 years old; 7 percent are 75 years or older.

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