In Rehabilitation

Research shows that older adults with hearing impairment have accelerated cognitive decline when compared to their peers with typical hearing in the same age group.[1] But new research suggests that the elimination of 12 potentially modifiable risk factors—with hearing loss as the primary modifiable risk factor for dementia—could prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases.[2] Furthermore, while the timely treatment of hearing loss may prevent or delay cognitive decline for some, cognitive decline associated with hearing loss, if already present, might also be reversible to some extent.

A recent multicenter study on older adults with severe or profound hearing impairment observed that CI recipients showed improved cognitive functioning after implantation when compared to those in the same age group that did not receive a cochlear implant.[3] However, the same study also found that older CI recipients continued to present with subnormal cognitive functioning after one year of cochlear implant use, suggesting that cognitive functioning should be a focus of auditory rehabilitation following implantation.

Adult Rehabilitation Involving Cognitive Skills

Our Adult Rehabilitation Kits (ARKs) focus on the specific needs of adult rehabilitation after implantation. They are designed to achieve the following goals with suitable activities:

  • auditory training,
  • auditory and cognitive processing, and
  • integrating hearing into the lifestyle.

Goals and activities focused on auditory and cognitive processing are included in the Adult Rehabilitation Kits to address the need to incorporate cognitive processing tasks into recipients’ rehabilitation.  For example, one activity included in ARK “195 Countries” requires the recipient to listen to a description with key words embedded. As they listen, they are asked to remember the auditory description in order to later eliminate incorrect images that do not match the description and select the correct response from a large set of choices. This draws not only on the recipients’ listening skills but also on their auditory memory and cognitive skills.

Adult Rehabilitation Kit 5 “195 Countries”

As with our earlier ARKs, this ARK also includes

  • tips for providing adult cochlear implant rehabilitation, such as ways to make tasks easier or more difficult depending on the recipient’s current skills,
  • a session plan with therapy goals,
  • activities with step-by-step instructions, and
  • printable materials.

Download Adult Rehabilitation Kit 5 “195 Countries” for free.

The previous Adult Rehabilitation Kits can also be found below.

 

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References

[1] Lin, F. R., Yaffe, K., Xia, J., Xue, Q. L., Harris, T. B., Purchase-Helzner, E., … & Health ABC Study Group, F. (2013). Hearing loss and cognitive decline in older adults. JAMA internal medicine, 173(4), 293-299. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1868

[2] Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Brayne C., (…), & Mukadam, N. (2020) Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. 396(10248), 413-446. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6

[3] Mertens, G., Andries, E., Claes, A. J., Topsakal, V., Van de Heyning, P., Van Rompaey, V., … & Lassaletta, L. (2020). Cognitive Improvement After Cochlear Implantation in Older Adults With Severe or Profound Hearing Impairment: A Prospective, Longitudinal, Controlled, Multicenter Study. Ear and Hearing. https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0000000000000962

 

 

 

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