Campaign to stop elderly relatives with hearing loss facing isolation in care homes (From Wirral Globe)
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Campaign to stop elderly relatives with hearing loss facing isolation in care homes
2:27pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
FAMILIES of elderly relatives with hearing loss in Wirral are being urged to ensure they don't face a future of unnecessary neglect and isolation in care or nursing homes.
The charity Action On Hearing Loss is advising people looking to secure care or nursing home residency for loved ones to check what procedures are in place to fully support residents with hearing loss.
It follows the publication of the charity's new report 'A World of Silence’ which presents the impact of failing to support care home residents with hearing loss – estimated to total 250,000 in England.
Action on Hearing Loss is advising people to check whether homes they are considering for loved ones have clear procedures in place to assess, record and manage residents’ hearing loss and ensure their communication needs are included in personal care plans.
Care workers should be trained in deaf awareness and know how to communicate in a way that meets in the individual needs of people with hearing loss.
Staff should also be able to help residents adjust, maintain and use their hearing aids and operate everyday assistive equipment such as TV listeners and hearing loops. Limiting background noise and ensuring seating arrangements help people lipread their fellow residents are other measures which can significantly reduce social isolation.
Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss, Paul Breckell, said: "When people in Wirral are selecting a care home for a loved one with hearing loss, it's important to make an informed choice by checking exactly what processes and support is available to meet the individual needs of residents who are deaf or hard of hearing.
"It doesn’t matter how well a care home is run, if residents find themselves locked in an isolated world where they miss out on everyday sounds and conversation because their hearing loss isn’t adequately supported.
"Care and nursing home managers should take simple steps to ensure residents with hearing loss don’t experience a reduced quality of daily life, which could lead to depression or mental health problems."
Action on Hearing Loss is campaigning for the Care Quality Commission to introduce communication standards to transform the quality of care for residents across England who are deaf or hard of hearing.
More information about questions to ask care home managers when securing a residency for people with hearing loss can be found at www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/care