The warmth and essence of the human being is its ability to communicate. Without the ability to hear conversations and other sounds, individuals are denied access to the essence of being human. For our most vulnerable seniors living in nursing homes, they should be forced to die in silence without the ability to communicate with family, friends and caregivers.
ABHF was originally formed as a private foundation to raise money for the Deafness Research Foundation and funding for early stage medical research into hearing loss causes and treatments. In 2009, the mission of the Foundation was changed in order to be able to provide direct hearing healthcare and hearing aids to people in need. In 2011, the Foundation was reincorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to provide hearing healthcare for low-income and under served people, to educate the public and primary care physicians about the impact of untreated hearing loss and to develop new approaches for treating hearing loss.
Since its reorganization, the Foundation has provided hearing testing and evaluations to over 12,000 individuals and has dispensed over 5,000 hearing aids to people who, without the Foundation's intervention, would not have received hearing healthcare or hearing aids.
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Older adults with untreated hearing loss appear more likely to develop dementia, and their risk increases as hearing loss becomes more severe, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The Study done by Dr. Frank Lin, M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and researchers from the National Institute on Aging compared normal hearing participants with those with untreated hearing loss. Those with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss had two-times, three-times, and five-times greater risk of developing dementia over time. In fact, the study found the greater the hearing loss; the higher the risk of developing the disease. The research could lead to new ways of warding off dementia, a problem that affects millions of people around the world and brings with it heavy societal burdens, say the researchers. According to Dr. Lin, â€œa hearing aid could help postpone or prevent dementiaâ€.