According to a national public opinion survey by the Public Health Agency of Canada conducted last year, 89 per cent of Canadians can identify at least one risk factor for developing dementia, yet only 16 per cent are aware that hearing loss is a factor.
Mild levels of hearing loss may increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Though it is still unclear how exactly it affects cognitive decline, hearing loss can lead to social isolation, loss of independence, and problems with everyday activities.
During September’s World Alzheimer’s Month, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is raising awareness of many aspects of dementia, including brain health and risk reduction. The society has invited clinical neuropsychologist Kate Dupuis to explain the connections between hearing loss and dementia at the free “Understanding the connections between hearing loss and dementia” webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.
Participants will hear about potential treatment options and strategies for individuals experiencing hearing loss, and will also learn how care partners can advocate for, and support, people living with dementia in accessing hearing care.
What can you do to reduce the risk of developing dementia?
– Have annual hearing evaluations
– Avoid listening to music that is too loud
– Avoid being continually exposed to loud sounds
– Ask your doctor to check for earwax buildup; if you have buildup, your doctor will be able to help you remove it
– Make sure you use hearing aids if hearing becomes a problem
– Check batteries and the fit of hearing aids regularly
To learn about other topics related to dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. invites anyone interested to sign up for one of its free webinars.
Upcoming webinars include:
– “Lived experience” (Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.): Join two creative people who are living with dementia for an exploration of the role of art and creativity in living well.
– “Question café: Responding to questions about dementia” (Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.): Grab a coffee and join the panel discussion to get the answers to some frequently asked questions.
– “Long-distance caregiving” (Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.): This session will go through practical tips on providing meaningful caregiving support from a distance.
To register for any of these webinars, learn more about other upcoming webinars, or see what other resources are available for those dealing with dementia, go to https://bit.ly/3iMmWAM.