When you think about healthy ageing, what comes to mind?
To me, it means living a long and healthy life. Staying strong, keeping reasonably fit and keeping my mind alert.
It means having something to look forward to each day.
And, staying connected with family and friends. It’s all about feeling that we’re of value – and valuable members of our community.
Better hearing is part of healthy ageing
Being able to easily communicate with other people – on the phone or face-to-face – is important for all of us.
It’s especially important as we get older.
Around 40% of people aged 65 and 85 years have hearing loss that affects their ability to hear conversations clearly.
And two out of three people over 85 have significant hearing loss.
Hearing loss is often a gradual process – and it’s invisible.
People often underestimate how hearing loss can restrict them from taking part in conversations. Even if your hearing loss is ‘moderate’, you’re probably missing out on parts of what people are saying.
Why having a regular hearing check is important to healthy ageing
There’s no way of knowing how much you’re affected and what you’re missing out on until you have a hearing check.
And the consequences of untreated hearing loss can be serious.
- Poor hearing can increase your risk of having a fall and injuring yourself
- Research shows there’s a link between hearing loss, dementia and cognitive decline
- The isolation that leads from hearing loss can cause people to feel depressed and anxious
Treating your hearing loss can help you age better
Enough of the bad news.
The great news is that hearing loss is treatable.
The first step is to have your hearing checked.
Just like all your other health checks, you should have your local hearing specialist check your hearing every year or so.
The benefits of hearing aids are clear
- You’ll be able to hear the TV and radio easily
- You can hear and understand conversations, even in noisy places. That means you won’t feel left out when you seeing family and friends
- Best of all, you’ll feel more confident, avoiding the embarrassment you sometimes feel if you have to ask people to repeat themselves
Did you know we’re officially in the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030)?
Staying healthy as we get older is so important, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has decided to build awareness and inspire action to make it a priority for all of us.
WHO defines healthy ageing as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age”.
As one of 89 member states, Australia has signed-up to the WHO initiatives for healthy ageing.
WHO have identified 4 areas for action on healthy ageing:
1. Changing how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing.
Stereotyping and ageism persist in our society. Though attitudes are hard to shift, WHO is encouraging governments, societies and communities to do what they can to support older people.
2. Developing communities in ways that foster the abilities of older people.
Ageing-friendly communities create environments and provide services that prevent older people from feeling isolated.
3. Delivering person-centred, integrated care and primary health services that are responsive to older people.
As we age, we tend to lean more heavily on our healthcare systems. It’s essential that healthcare is delivered in a way that supports older people.
4. Providing older people access to long-term care when they need it.
We’ve seen how aged care facilities have buckled under the strain of COVID-19. The WHO is promoting better support for people, whether they live at home or need a higher level of care outside the home.
At My Hearing, we take the time to talk about what’s going to work best for you. What feels right, looks right and fits your budget and your lifestyle.
To have your hearing checked or come in for a chat about your hearing health, please give us a call on 1300 970 558.