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ACDHH Announces Statewide Age of Access Survey, Offers Resources and Support to Seniors with Hearing Loss
By Alison Bailin - Thursday Jun 01, 2023
According to the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) one of the primary causes of hearing loss is aging. Oftentimes people dismiss signs of hearing loss as “no big deal.”

"In reality, hearing loss is a very big deal. Hearing loss can affect anyone at any time and can impact all the areas of your life, including your relationships, your health, and your safety. Most people don’t realize that hearing loss can also be linked to depression and memory loss, an early indicator of dementia," said Sherri Collins, executive director for the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH).

According to Collins, an individual with hearing loss is two-to-five times more likely to develop dementia earlier than people without hearing loss. Studies have suggested that while your brain works to overcompensate for your hearing loss, there is a greater possibility of it being impacted by conditions like dementia.

While the likelihood of developing dementia exists, there are ways to prevent hearing loss. Collins and ACDHH recommend:

Protect your ears. Keep music or TV volumes low, especially when you are wearing headphones.
Don’t ignore your hearing loss. If you are experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, see a hearing healthcare professional right away to start combating the symptoms.
Tackle the hearing loss head on. Don’t assume hearing loss will go away on its own. The sooner you get assistance with your hearing loss, the more likely you are to possibly prevent early dementia.

Utilize technology. If you have a hearing aid, wear it as much as possible. You can also consider other hearing interventions including cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, amplified telephones, or captioning.
Access to resources. If you start to experience hearing loss, it is important to utilize the resources available to you so that your hearing loss doesn’t increase; leaving you vulnerable to other issues like dementia that can affect your brain.

"As you begin to age, access to valuable resources is critically important for all of us. However, an ACDHH community survey conducted in December 2021 found that older Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults in the state report that they are concerned with where to find these resources," said Collins. "Survey respondents indicated that they need information on general health and wellness as well as information on memory loss and dementia, pharmacy benefits and access to mental health services. Other important resources mentioned included assistance with maintaining their independence and living on their own, access to caregivers who were fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), as well as access to attorneys and estate planners can assist with living wills and trust laws."

As such, ACDHH is launching its Age of Access initiative designed to be a one-stop destination for resources, information and programming for Arizona’s older adults who are deaf or experiencing hearing loss. An online survey is in the field right now to gain additional information regarding the needs of the community and how best to provide access to these resources.

If you are an older adult in Arizona and are deaf or hard of hearing, we encourage you take the survey at

For more information about ACDHH, including its resources, please visit