Hearing loss is more common than you might think. One in six people in Australia has a hearing loss, and with the ageing of the Australian population, hearing loss is projected to increase to one in every four Australians by 2050.
The person for whom you are caring may have a hearing loss which has not yet been recognised, or they may already be a hearing aid user. In either case Australian Hearing can help you to help them.
Hearing loss is often referred to as the invisible handicap. There may be no obvious signs of hearing loss, particularly when it is mild. However, even a mild hearing loss can result in significant hearing difficulties for the listener.
Often the signs of hearing loss are misinterpreted. The hearing impaired are often accused of "hearing when they want to." Even with a mild hearing loss this is usually not true. Hearing loss can be mistaken for dementia or rudeness.
As a carer, it is important that you are able to recognise the signs of hearing loss and take appropriate action where necessary. You will need to know how to communicate with someone with a hearing loss and where to go for help. A hearing test can help to identify whether a problem exists and what can be done to assist communication.
Even after the hearing loss has been diagnosed and devices fitted, you can assist by checking the function of the hearing aid regularly. To help care for hearing aids, there are a number of simple troubleshooting tips that you can use to make sure the hearing aid is working as well as possible.
There are a number of support groups that can provide information and assistance for carers with hearing loss and related conditions.
For comprehensive information about aged care services and the support and the range of services available to people who are cared for in their own home, please visit www.agedcareaustralia.gov.au.