Recognizing that hearing healthcare plays a critical role in the quality of life for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the Center for Hearing and Communication announces the launch of Sound Mind, a program of clinical services tailored to meet the hearing and communication needs of older adults who are concerned about the impact of hearing on cognitive function. Sound Mind helps seniors stay more connected to life through a multidisciplinary approach to hearing healthcare that includes hearing assessment, hearing device counseling and fitting, communication and language therapy, and emotional support. The program is featured in the summer issue of the newsletter by the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter. Click to read the article.
Recent studies have found that untreated hearing loss can accelerate cognitive decline and exacerbate communication challenges due to Alzheimer’s disease. The studies suggest that dementia coupled with hearing loss puts a tremendous strain on the brain and may weaken its ability to process and store information. Seeking treatment for the hearing loss can improve an individual’s ability to communicate and help them to engage more with the world around them.
“There’s an urgent need to address the hearing problems of older adults, particularly those experiencing memory or thinking challenges,” says Laurie Hanin, Executive Director at the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC). “One-third of people over the age of 65 and two-thirds over 75 have hearing loss. And while 90% of hearing loss is treatable, most people who could benefit from hearing aids don’t use them. When left untreated, hearing loss can lead to communication difficulties and withdrawal from social interaction.” Sound Mind is a unique clinical program that considers the interplay of hearing health and cognitive decline with a customized suite of services and therapeutic techniques designed to address not only hearing but listening, communication, and memory skills as well.
Participants in the Sound Mind program work closely with CHC’s highly regarded team of audiologists, speech pathologists, and mental health practitioners sensitive to the needs of older adults with memory issues. Caregivers and family members are encouraged to take an active role in all phases of the program, which CHC makes fully accessible to people with all degrees of hearing loss through the use of assistive listening devices and/or sign language interpreting.
The NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Center for Hearing and Communication are partnering to increase awareness of hearing health and its impact on the well-being of adults with Alzheimer’s. CHC has contributed an article titled “Why Hearing Health Matters for Families Living with Alzheimer’s Disease” in the current issue of the NYC Chapter’s newsletter. On Monday, August 12th CHC will conduct a caregiver training workshop, “Hearing Health for Families Living with Alzheimer’s,” that will take place from 6-8PM at the NYC Chapter’s office at 360 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. Call (800) 272-3900 to register for this workshop which is open to the public.
Sound Mind is presented under the auspices of CHC’s Center for Hearing and Aging, a clinical and educational resource committed to the health and well-being of older adults. Made possible in part by the generous funding of The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Sound Mind program is being offered at CHC’s New York location at 50 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. Visit www.CHChearing.org/ALZ to learn more about Sound Mind and the Center for Hearing and Aging. To request an appointment for services in New York call (917) 305-7766.
Established in 1910, the Center for Hearing and Communication is a not-for-profit human services organization providing a wide array of hearing healthcare services to people of all ages with hearing loss as well as children with listening, learning and auditory challenges. With offices in New York City and Florida, CHC meets consumers’ hearing and communication needs through the highest level of clinical expertise and technical know-how available in the hearing healthcare field. Visit www.CHChearing.org to learn more.