Age-related hearing loss affects more than half of all Australians aged between 60-70 and is a major cause of disability in Australians aged over 55.
In October 2017 CaptionsLIVE proudly captioned the Libby Harricks Memorial Oration for the Deafness Forum of Australia. The 2017 oration was part of Dementia Australia’s “Alzheimer’s Australia National Conference”. Dr Piers Dawes spoke about the possible links between hearing loss and cognitive health and whether effective prevention, identification and management of hearing problems represent an opportunity to optimise well-being and quality of life in older age.
I spoke with Peter there, whom I have met and spoken to at a number of jobs. He is an older gentleman who enjoys being engaged in the community and continually learning new things. He is very interesting to chat to and he is a great advocate for captioning as it greatly assists him in staying active and engaged in the community. Peter does not have dementia but was interested in the topic. He would not have been able to successfully access the oration, or the many other events I’ve spoken to him at, if not for captioning.
A Dementia Australia fact sheet on hearing loss and dementia suggests: “There are a range of lifestyle changes that may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, including:
Stimulating or challenging your mind (e.g. by learning new things)
Keeping socially active and engaged.”
Live captioning of events can help people like Peter keep socially active and engaged and learn new things. You see, hearing impairment in midlife is a disability that affects quality of life and engagement of older people in society. Live Captioning will also help you communicate your message more effectively, given the problems older people with hearing loss can face with understanding speech when there is a lot of background noise or poor acoustics.
So here’s the question I’m asking today: why aren’t more events for older Australians being Live Captioned?