World Hearing Day March 3rd 2020
The World Health organization estimated that 360 million people around the world have hearing loss (HL). Since HL increases with age, and with an aging world population, hearing loss can be expected to increase considerably in the immediate future. For those with HL, hearing aids can mitigate the burden. However, not everyone who needs and wants to use a hearing aid has access to one.
Recent published research on hearing aids shows that the benefits of hearing aids are around thirty times greater than the costs.
The main benefits of hearing aids are that they improve the quality of life of the wearers. In addition, for those older adults with dementia, hearing aids have the added benefit of reducing the symptoms of dementia. Yet in the United States, hearing aids are not a part of the standard health insurance policy for those over 65 years of age (Medicare). When hearing aids have been shown to be so socially worthwhile, and older adults do not have access to them, people's human's rights are being violated and elder abuse exists.
INPEA UN Rep Professor Robert Brent, Fordham University, exposes failure to provide hearing aids to all older adults and particularly those with dementia a human rights violation.
The Red Cross of Serbia and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse recognize World Hearing Day and call for increased access to hearing aids worldwide for those who need and want them.