Community-based solutions to hearing care provision

 

The established model of hearing health care delivery in the U.S. and much of the world is based on clinic-based audiologic and hearing needs assessment, rehabilitative counseling and education, and sensory management with the provision of amplification and other assistive devices. This model of care is associated with improvements in communication and overall domain-specific quality of life, but these services are beyond the resources of many older adults.

 

Center researchers, led by Carrie Nieman and Jonathan Suen, are committed to incorporating public health practices in order to develop new models for the delivery of hearing care and provide access to all older adults, as is currently done with the HEARS intervention. This research incorporates the latest advances in over-the-counter hearing technology as well as key principles in designing materials and technology that are accessible to all older adults, regardless of education, literacy level or cognitive status. This research uses best practices from audiology, otology and gerontology/geriatrics to develop interventions and programs that are not only effective but are scalable and sustainable.

 

With increasing understanding of the effects of age-related hearing loss on healthy aging, the goal of this research is to provide all older adults with the tools they need to age well. Much of this work is done in partnership with Mike Weikert and the Center for Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art.