MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota commission that advocates for deaf residents are teaming up with the University of Minnesota to test ways to help home care workers better understand age-related hearing loss.
The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans announced the partnership earlier this month, Minnesota Daily reported. The collaboration will test three modules that aim to help healthcare workers.
The modules cover what age-related hearing loss is, how to identify it, its health impacts and strategies and technologies that can help effective communication, said Emory Dively, the commission’s deputy director.
About two-thirds of people over the age of 70 suffer from some level of hearing loss, he said. Untreated age-related hearing loss can contribute to a number of negative health outcomes such as dementia, hospitalization, depression, isolation and Alzheimer’s disease, Dively said.
“What we need to do is help people understand that if they seek help and are diagnosed that it’s possible that their hearing loss can be corrected or that they can find ways to relieve stress and other dynamics that surround not being able to hear,” said John Wodele, a member of the commission.
The modules will be tested at a select number of senior care facilities across the state in the coming months before a larger roll-out next year, said Peggy Nelson, a Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences professor.
The modules will also be made available on the university’s website, Dively said.