Living Well with Hearing Loss
Our fourth seminar series explored what it means to "live well with hearing loss" and how hearing care professionals can enable individuals to improve communication situations in their daily life. The three seminars took place in October 2010, January 2011, and March 2011.
We began the seminar series with the premise that hearing loss can threaten a person's ability to live well. Assisting people with hearing loss in improving their daily communication can be viewed as a reasonable and valid goal of audiological rehabilitation services for hearing impaired individuals, their family, and their friends.
We then explored the multitude of definitions one can subscribe to the concept of "living well." Each individual with hearing loss may define "living well" in different terms. However, the ability to successfully conduct everyday conversation is critical to one's image as a competent social being and an important aspect of living well with hearing loss.
Realizing that each person has their own definition of living well with hearing loss, seminar participants reiterated the importance of allowing people with hearing loss to tell their story in their own words during the consultation session. By having the client identify life situations where they experience communication challenges, the hearing care professional can develop a plan to address each situation and thereby help improve one's quality of life.
The seminar resulted in the collaborative development of Ida's Living Well counseling tool. The tool enables the person with hearing loss to identify communication situations in their daily life that are relevant and important to them. With this information, the person with hearing loss and hearing care professional can develop a shared strategy to improve communication, applying both technological solutions and appropriate communication strategies.
Patricia McCarthy, Program Director of the Doctor of Audiology Program at Rush University, explores the topic of changing behaviors in the context of living well, with an emphasis on the role of self-efficacy.
The ICF Model
Jean-Pierre Gagné, Professor at the University of Montreal, presents the ICF model, a framework for investigating living well with hearing loss.
Tales from the Other Side
Lesley Jones of Hull York Medical School, University of York, explores the topic of story telling in the context of a clinical setting.
Christopher Lind, Senior Lecturer in Audiology, Flinders University, Australia, discusses living well, everyday conversation and hearing impairment.
Seminar series participant Janet Smith reflects on the importance of bringing the concept of "living well" into the consultation session.
Seminar series participant Eileen Rall reflects on the barriers some audiologists may have to discussing emotions and life quality aspects of living with hearing loss.