The importance of hearing and speaking as we age

Our ability to hear and speak allow us to communicate with others and are an important part of our emotional and social well-being. Issues with our hearing or speech that prohibit us from communicating can pose significant challenges such as social isolation.

Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability. Aging is the number one cause of hearing loss in Canada. Some changes in our ability to hear are part of normal aging and some are not. Hearing loss may affect our social interactions and even place us at risk for other health problems, like dementia or falls.

The good news? Ninety per cent of older adults with hearing loss can improve communication with a properly fitted hearing aid, counselling or environmental changes

For older adults, challenges with speech may be the result of a stroke. ‘Aphasia’ is the term for language difficulties – including trouble speaking, listening and understanding, reading and writing after experiencing a stroke. Fortunately, most people recover language skills, though the rate at which they regain abilities – and whether they make a full recovery – varies depending on the individual.

Read through our speech and hearing resources to learn more.

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