Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Walsh AK, El Refaie A, O'Grady G, Kingston A,Laoide-Kemp S
Irish Gerontological Society 67th Annual and Scientific Meeting 2019 Innovation, Advances and Excellence in Ageing
The effects of acquired hearing loss in older people A pilot study in collaboration with CARL and the CDA
Clayton Hotel Silver Springs, Cork
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields
Background Acquired hearing loss (AHL) is defined as a hearing loss which is acquired after birth or at any other time in one’s life. In Ireland, one in every twelve adults has a permanent hearing loss as a result of aging or exposure to noise. Statistical findings are consistent with older people identified with hearing loss, having a corresponding higher risk of cognitive decline. Purpose of the study The experiences of the older Irish population has not yet been researched, therefore this pilot study aimed to investigate the experiences of members of the Cork Deaf Association (CDA) who have an acquired hearing loss (AHL). Methods The study was carried out in collaboration with CARL and the Cork Deaf Association. A qualitative research design was used. Data was gathered using an open ended questionnaire which was distributed by the CDA to 30 potential participants. Rich data was extracted using thematic analysis. Results 12 members of the CDA responded to the questionnaires. From these responses four themes were identified. They included emotional well-being, management strategies & rehabilitation, promoting awareness and alienation. This study supported the hypothesis that AHL can have a detrimental effect on older people. Conclusion There is irrefutable evidence to suggest that the effect of hearing loss on the elderly exceeds the effect on hearing and extends to affect emotional and physical wellbeing as well as the overall quality of life. This pilot study demonstrates the urgent need for a far reaching study to evaluate the effect of hearing loss on the ageing Irish population, its impact on quality of life and cognitive decline while highlighting the need for community awareness and understanding of this group in Irish society.