Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Hearing loss * Deafness: A recipe for Dementia ?

More studies show relationship between hearing loss and dementia
We are still reading that 'studies' into dementia lay the cause as hearing loss, this heaps guilt onto people losing hearing who may well believe the next step is forgetting your own name !  Responses on social medias when challenged tried to defray reasoned argument, by stating it wasn't 'targeting' us specifically (Nope they just examined deaf people in isolation ! As ATR pointed out:-

Pro hearing loss is at base of dementia poster said:

"These studies were targeted at Dementia as a specific, not hearing loss, and untreated hearing loss come top of the extra risk factors."


That is NOT what the news item (or you said), they specifically mentioned hearing loss in a global sense, and it was from a hearing loss site. We ARE being targeted as a sector. There is no assessment procedure that takes into account educational, language, or cultural differences. Are we back to HoH having no cultural difference as per 'Deaf' whatever ? They start life with 40% of deaf children having a mental health problem, they say hearing create that for them and deafness is no issue.

Their culture and communication does not follow the nation's grammatical norm either, again HOW are assessors defining the criteria for these people ? They don't know the same as hearing do ? they don't use the same language, grammar or same way of communicating ?  That puts the deaf amid 174 other cultural areas in the UK.  I'm willing to bet with proper criteria set up we would find, we do as well or better than many hearing do, its a matter of perspectives.   We may be rusty on reciting the 93 times table backwards, but so are most hearing !

We may well have no idea of music or quality of signing voices, but we do have a valid reason for that.  Frankly music appreciation died for me 48 years ago along with my hearing.  Are we all senile because we cannot name best singers today ? It's a subjective point anyway.   We have no means to follow them, you do not get voice quality from subtitling or sign language, its an audio thing.  Obviously learning difficulties etc and mental health affect questions too.

You have to use the assessment criteria bearing in mind the access we do not have, and the alternatives we utilise, and not ask questions that are applicable to only people who can hear..  This means assessors of the medical ilk need to be deaf and HoH aware, we are going to wait another 50 years for that to happen.  They are still talking through 3rd parties. 

Obvious thing like forgetting your own family etc we can agree on, but the rest... As the hearing loss worlds are introspective and isolated anyway a different approach has to be used. We can pick ANY singular sector of people and get the same 'results'. No-one is comparing like with like.

The decline of the deaf clubs....

The Decline of Deaf Clubs - Taryn Banks from Auckland Deaf Society on Vimeo

This should be welcomed if it means deaf are now being included.