Three in every four people over 70 are affected by hearing loss

05/04/16
RIDBC Audiologist Carol Amos with cochlear implant recipient Jil ParkerRIDBC Audiologist Carol Amos (left) with cochlear implant recipient Jil Parker

With an ageing population, hearing loss is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians by 2050. In the lead up to NSW Seniors Festival 2016, held Friday 1 April to Sunday 10 April, RIDBC health professionals are calling for Australians to take action on hearing loss by adding a visit to an audiologist to their annual list of medical check-ups.

“The ability to hear clearly is essential to maintaining a good quality lifestyle and enjoyment, and your overall health. People need to be aware of how important it is to maintain healthy hearing, so they can continue to interact with the things and people they love, and reach their full potential,” said Bart Cavalletto, RIDBC Director of Services.

People with severe to profound hearing loss can struggle to hear in crowded places, find it difficult to keep up at work and often have problems talking with family and friends.

“Adults who lose their hearing later in life can often find the experience very isolating. However, with the right technology and expert support, many adults who are losing their hearing can now take positive steps to manage that process. Something as simple as hearing their partner or grandchildren again is now possible thanks to implantable technology like the cochlear implant.

“Through SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, an RIDBC service, we have the pleasure of engaging with seniors every day, supporting individuals through every stage of their cochlear implant journey to ensure they achieve the best outcomes,” said Bart. 

For 69 year old Springwood resident and retired medical scientist, Jil Parker, a cochlear implant has been life changing.

"My hearing loss was only diagnosed when I was almost 30 years old. I was raising two small children and my mother noticed I didn’t hear her when I was distracted with the kids,” said Jil. “I struggled when I started school, not knowing I was hearing impaired and only managed when I unknowingly learned to lip-read.”

Finally, at age 64, Jill received a cochlear implant through SCIC Cochlear Implant Program.

“Over the years my hearing continued to decline and I started to withdraw from activities and became isolated. When my cochlear implant was ‘switched on’, it was an uplifting moment and life magically started to change and my life was transformed.”

Jil recommends that anyone struggling with their hearing should investigate the options available.

“If you’re struggling with hearing loss – don’t give up! With my cochlear implant I can again socialise with my family and friends. I am now able to be part of life, instead of just being there.”

It’s never too late to explore options relating to your hearing loss. People of all ages can benefit from hearing solutions, including cochlear implants.

For more information about cochlear implants or SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 658 981.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with vision or hearing loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC is a charity and relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with vision or hearing loss.