Hearing Better Can Help You Think Better
The February 2023 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society had a must-read article. It is only 4 pages long but serves to re-orient our perspective when it comes to a link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The article is called “It is time to change our message about hearing loss and dementia” by Jan Blustein, Barbara Weinstein, and Joshua Chodosh and can be viewed at DOI: 10.1111/jgs.18323. Of interest and as an underscore of its importance, the article was submitted on February 15 and accepted only three days later, on February 18.
The quote from that article “Hearing better can help you think better” says it all. No mention is made of any possible link with dementia or cognitive decline but it more accurately indicates the state of affairs- hearing better can help you think better. Clinically, that quote is the sentence that I now use, and I tend to steer my clients (and their family) away from any discussion about cognitive decline.
In this issue of CanadianAudiology.ca we have two excellent articles, despite mentioning “cognition” in the titles, on the relation between hearing better and how this may help you think better. One is by Barbara Weinstein- an author of the above article – and her contribution is called “Fundamentals of Screening for Mild Cognitive Impairment and/or Dementia.” The other article by Dany Pineault is entitled “Managing Older Adults with Cognitive Health Worries” and deals more with rehabilitative aspects of not hearing well. Also, Kathy Pichora-Fuller has written an excellent column in this issue that touches on some of these topics titled “Views of Aging: Positive Beliefs and Attitudes Matter for Hearing and Other Health Issues.”
Changing gears, several Canadian agencies were asked to submit overviews of their services and programs that exist in addition to audiological services that they provide. The agencies were asked to concentrate on their non-audiology services and programs and perhaps take us through their offerings as a Deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing client or clients would arrive at their front door seeking services and/or programs.
This issue of CanadianAudiologist.ca has offerings from three of these Canadian agencies—Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, with main offices in Victoria, British Columbia; Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility (formerly the Western Institute for Deaf and Hard of Hearing) in Vancouver, British Columbia; and Canadian Hearing Services (formerly Canadian Hearing Society), with main offices in Toronto, Ontario. Audiology is certainly more than what happens inside the sound booth.
And even though this issue of CanadianAudiologist.ca goes live in mid-May, May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month. I want to thank all of the CAA audiologists working on the various committees who have generated many appropriate documents and posters for our clients and the public for May Month activities and information. These resources can be found at May 2023 – Hearing Month Campaign | Canadian Academy of Audiology (canadianaudiology.ca) as well as an overview in this issue of CanadianAudiologist.ca.
And, although it is only spring, it’s not too early to consider submitting a contributed poster or podium abstract to this year’s Canadian Academy of Audiology’s annual conference to be held in Ottawa, Ontario, between October 11 and 14, 2023.
I wish you all a pleasant late spring and as a special surprise, keep your eye out for a special offering which will be a bit “different than other issues” of CanadianAudiologist.ca this summer in issue #4 … it goes live on July 13.
Marshall Chasin, AuD