Towards alleviating the isolating effects of hearing loss
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Charlotte Jones, UBC Faculty of Medicine, Okanagan Health Sciences; and Dr. Paul Mick, UBC Faculty of Medicine and Kelowna General Hospital
Partner(s): Mr. Colin Van Bergen, NexGen Hearing Clinic, Kelowna
Loneliness and social isolation are increasing problems in the elderly. Being lonely/isolated puts people at greater risk of dementia, mental and physical problems and early death. Hearing loss places people at higher risk for loneliness/isolation. Kelowna’s Walk ‘n Talk for Your Life (WTL) program is a UBC-O student-run socialization, health education and physical activity program aimed at reducing loneliness/isolation in older adults. However, it was designed for peole with normal hearing. We will interview older adults with hearing loss that are participating in the WTL to explore their experience of hearing loss and its effects on their emotional wellbeing and get their opinions on how acceptable the program is to them and what they feel needs to change in order to optimize the program for those with hearing loss. Based on the findings from the interviews we will change the WTL to better suit older adults with hearing loss.