Hearing impaired older people’s difficulty in interacting can reduce participation in social situations, Finnish studies show
Older people who suffer from hearing problems also experience difficulties in participating in social activities and events. This is put forward in Finnish studies that show a link between hearing impairment and the level of social activities for older people.
The studies show that older people with hearing problems engage less often in activities with their friends than people without hearing problems. The reason is that group activities are challenging with hearing problems because it makes it difficult to have a conversation in a noisy setting.
When older people interact less in social settings it affects their quality of life, the studies show. The older people state that because of their hearing problems they are not able to live their lives the way they would like.
Hearing impaired use other senses
One of the Finnish studies interviewed 848 people aged 75-90. Around half of those people reported some difficulties when talking to another person in a noisy setting, and one in ten of those interviewed experienced major difficulties.
The studies point to prevention and rehabilitation in order to facilitate more social activity for people with hearing problems. As hearing impaired people tend to rely on other senses besides their hearing, it is also important to converse face-to- face. This facilitates lip reading which makes it easier for the hearing impaired to be part of social activities.