Over the past few years, several studies have shown a possible link between hearing loss, cognitive decline and dementia.

Though an increased risk “does not mean a person is going to develop dementia,” the correlation between the two is strong enough to convince people over the age of 60 that hearing health should be a primary concern.

The problem facing audiologists, however, is that many older, at-risk individuals may have trouble getting regular checkups. They may not even know about hearing technology that would help them better hear in noise in the first place. This is especially true for residents of assisted living facilities.

Though these facilities are required by law to “provide appropriate, effective, quality health care services,” sometimes they don’t do as much as they should. Other times, despite doing everything possible, the residents are faced with personal difficulties in exploring or benefiting from all the different options they do have.

According to Oticon, the risk of cognitive decline can come from the lack of social interaction those hard of hearing often experience. And not only that, hearing better improves communication, which is an important – and often challenging – part of growing older. The more clearly someone can understand, the easier it is for any physician, caretaker, or family member to help with problems.

For these reasons, REM is committed to outpatient care. Receiving a hearing test, improving communication, and fighting dementia and cognitive decline are rights everyone has. Sometimes you just have to bring it to them.