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Guidance for supporting older people with hearing loss in care settings

Hearing loss is a major public health issue. It affects more than 12 million people across the UK – that’s one in six of us. The most common type of hearing loss is age-related hearing loss, which develops gradually with age and it is estimated that 75% of people in a care home have hearing loss – and that this will increase to 80% by 2032.

Previous research (download A World of Silence) showed how if the hearing loss of care home residents is identified and managed effectively, there is a real chance of improving their quality of life, by reducing loneliness and social isolation, and by improving their overall health and wellbeing.

Following on from this research, we have undertaken a project, funded by the Department of Health, to pilot and test changes that can be made to improve the diagnosis and management of hearing loss amongst care home residents.  As a result of the project’s findings, we have produced this guide and a range of easy-to-use information sheets, to support care home managers and staff to: 

  • Identify and check for hearing loss
  • Improve hearing aid use and management
  • Meet communication needs
  • Provide assistive listening devices
  • Identify and manage other ear problems, such as tinnitus and ear-wax blockages
  • Appoint hearing loss champions

Checking for hearing loss and next steps

Information sheet offering tips on how to recognise hearing loss, carry out hearing checks, and take appropriate action

Download Checking for hearing loss and next steps


Communicating well with residents who have hearing loss

Simple and effective tips on how to communicate effectively with residents who are deaf or have hearing loss

Download Communicating well with residents who have hearing loss


Looking after open-fit hearing aids

Information sheet setting out how to look after open-fit hearing aids

Download Looking after open-fit hearing aids


Looking after standard-fit hearing aids

Information sheet setting out how to look after standard-fit hearing aids

Download Looking after standard-fit hearing aids


Supporting residents with hearing loss – tips for family members

Useful tips for family members to help support care home staff to address their relative’s hearing loss

Download tips for family members


How to support me with hearing loss

Easy to use form residents can complete to help staff support them with their hearing loss

Download How to support me with hearing loss


Hearing aid care plan

Easy to use form for care staff to complete for each resident who uses hearing aids

Download Hearing aid care plan