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May 5, 2022

Think about the last time you attended a talk on communication skills or goals of care discussions.  Was there any mention about the impact that hearing loss has in communication or what we should do about it in clinical practice?  I’m guessing not.  Now square that with the fact that age-related hearing loss affects about 2/3rd of adults over age 70 years and that self-reported hearing loss increases during the last years of life.  

Screening for addressing hearing loss should be an integral part of what we do in geriatrics and palliative care, but it often is either a passing thought or completely ignored.  On today's podcast, we talk to Nick Reed and Meg Wallhagen about hearing loss in geriatrics and palliative care.  Nick is an audiologist, researcher, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Meg is a researcher and professor of Gerontological Nursing and a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner in the School of Nursing at UCSF.

We talk with Nick and Meg about:

  • Why hearing loss is important not just in geriatrics but also for those caring for seriously ill individuals
  • How to screen for hearing loss
  • Communication techniques we can use when talking to individuals with hearing loss
  • The use of assistive listening devices like pocket talkers and hearing aids
  • Their thoughts on the approval and use of over the counter hearing aids

If you want to take a deeper dive into this subject and read some of the articles we discussed in the podcast, check out the following: