Pub. Date:
National Academies Press


Current price is , Original price is $39.0. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


Being able to communicate is a cornerstone of healthy aging. People need to make themselves understood and to understand others to remain cognitively and socially engaged with families, friends, and other individuals. When they are unable to communicate, people with hearing impairments can become socially isolated, and social isolation can be an important driver of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Despite the critical importance of communication, many older adults have hearing loss that interferes with their social interactions and enjoyment of life. People may turn up the volume on their televisions or stereos, miss words in a conversation, go to fewer public places where it is difficult to hear, or worry about missing an alarm or notification. In other cases, hearing loss is much more severe, and people may retreat into a hard-to-reach shell. Yet fewer than one in seven older Americans with hearing loss use hearing aids, despite rapidly advancing technologies and innovative approaches to hearing health care. In addition, there may not be an adequate number of professionals trained to address the growing need for hearing health care for older adults. Further, Medicare does not cover routine hearing exams, hearing aids, or exams for fitting hearing aids, which can be prohibitively expensive for many older adults.

Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging is the summary of a workshop convened by the Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence in January 2014 on age-related hearing loss. Researchers, advocates, policy makers, entrepreneurs, regulators, and others discussed this pressing social and public health issue. This report examines the ways in which age-related hearing loss affects healthy aging, and how the spectrum of public and private stakeholders can work together to address hearing loss in older adults as a public health issue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780309302265
Publisher: National Academies Press
Publication date: 08/30/2014
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction, Background, And Overview of The Workshop 1

Background 3

Overview of the Workshop 5

Organization of the Workshop Summary 6

2 Hearing Loss: Two Perspectives 9

Living with Hearing Loss 9

Hearing Technologies from a Consumer Perspective 14

3 The Connection between Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging 17

The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss 17

The Impact of Hearing Loss on Physical Functioning 19

Functional Reserves and Hearing 21

Aging and Hearing Loss: Why Does It Matter? 22

The Impact of Hearing Loss on Cognition 24

Psychological Impacts 25

Other Issues 27

4 Current Approaches to Hearing Health Care Delivery 31

The Spectrum of Hearing Impairment and Interventions 31

The Current U.S. Hearing Health Care Model 36

An International Perspective 39

5 Hearing Technologies 43

A Technology Overview 43

Current FDA Standards 48

Wireless Standards 52

Health Technology Assessment: Role in Technology Development and Use 54

Conclusion 57

6 Innovative Models 59

The Community Health Worker Model 59

Teleaudiology 61

The Primary Care Setting 64

Social Enterprise Business Models 66

Inclusive Design 69

7 Contemporary Issues in Hearing Health Care 73

Healthy People 2020 73

The Changing Health Care System 75

NIDCD Research Working Group on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care 77

Challenges and Opportunities 81

8 Collaborative Strategies for The Future 85

The American Public Health Association 85

The American Geriatrics Society 86


Participants' Reflections on the Workshop 89

References 93


A Workshop Agenda 97

B Speaker Biographical Sketches 103

Customer Reviews