Jewish Deaf Association – UK
Up to 80% of people living in care homes have significant hearing loss. However research by the Jewish Deaf Association (JDA) identified that many care home residents who needed hearing aids did not have them, and homes had no systems in place for meeting their needs.
Arriving at a residential home is challenging for anyone, but for people with a hearing loss it can be devastating as they find themselves unable to settle in, join in activities or make new friends, all essential for mental stimulation and wellbeing. Research has shown that people with untreated hearing loss are up to five times more likely to develop dementia, largely due to the lack of stimulation.
The Jewish Deaf Association is a small yet far-reaching charity with 72 years’ experience in the deaf community. It provides a wide range of services for everyone affected by hearing loss – all ages, all faiths and none.
Since 2016, JDA’s Hearing Matters in Care programme, funded by the Wohl Legacy, has pioneered hearing support provision for care homes, training staff to be able to respond to the individual hearing needs of residents and support the development of care plans for them. This can range from ensuring that hearing aids, if appropriate, are clean, working and are used effectively, to maintaining awareness of and access to cutting edge equipment that can enable more effective social interaction.
As the only service of its kind in England, it has been helping alleviate the isolation, exclusion and loneliness experienced by older people, with hearing loss, living in care homes.