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Hearing and Vision Loss as We Age

We rely on our hearing and vision for everything from communicating to navigating the world around us. As we age, these two important senses begin to decline. According to the Canadian Hearing Society, hearing loss is the most prevalent chronic condition affecting older adults and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) reports that age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Canada. Dealing with a decline in either of these can be difficult, and many seniors experience both.

What causes these issues as we age?

Gradual hearing loss as we age is called presbycusis. Approximately 30 to 35 percent of adults between 65 and 75 have hearing loss and the number is estimated at 40 to 50 percent in those over 75. Along with aging, hearing loss can also be caused by genetics, certain medications, ear infections, and medical conditions.

Though age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause, vision loss can also be caused by cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetes.

The impact of hearing and vision loss on seniors

Hearing and vision loss can have a several negative social and emotional consequences, such as depression and social isolation. It can also impact a person’s safety and cause mobility limitations. This has been shown to be especially difficult for older adults, often leading to a poor quality of life.

Every day activities can become difficult for someone whose vision or hearing is declining, such as:

  • Cooking and preparing meals
  • Exercising
  • Socializing
  • Medication reminder
  • Attending medical appointments
  • Light Housekeeping

Home care services for those with hearing or vision loss

If you or an aging loved one is living with hearing and/or vision loss and finding certain tasks difficult, a home care provider can help.  Some of the home care services we provide that can be beneficial include:

  • Help with meal preparation
  • Medication reminder
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Accompanying the care recipient to medical or social appointments
  • Shopping
  • Help with correspondence

A caregiver can also help improve household organization and assist in minimizing the risk of falls by tidying up, ensuring the floor is clear of objects, and leaving lights on. And, our services are flexible and easily adapted to suit your changing needs.

One of the main advantages of in home care over assisted living facilities for a person with vision or hearing loss is the ability to remain in surroundings you are familiar with. A qualified caregiver can provide as much or as little help as needed to help you or a loved one continue to enjoy excellent quality of life, with respect and dignity.

David Porter, CPCA

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care


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