Sound Scouts HQ Pty Ltd in partnership with Maroba Caring Communities and the University of Newcastle has been awarded an ARIIA grant for their project ‘Evaluation of deployable hearing assessment technology in Aged Care leading to resident centric care recommendations’.
Over 65% of adults over 60 years of age experience some form of hearing impairment, often resulting in reduced hearing clarity, disruption to communication efficiency, and subsequent social isolation.
This growth project combines evidence-based digital hearing testing technology (Sound Scouts) with services provided in a residential aged care facility (RACF) to identify people with hearing loss impacting their quality of life. Testing is completed by the resident using an iPad with specified headphones with assistance from RACF staff.
The importance of an older adult’s declining hearing levels is crucial, as it can minimise social isolation, reduce fall risk and reduce the onset and progress of cognitive decline. Sound Scouts can be implemented into current dashboards to provide staff and carers with a straightforward traffic light system to improve communication with the residents. Subsequent prioritisation for referral for access to government-funded hearing aid services could also be made.
This project brings together Sound Scouts with Maroba Caring Communities and their research partner (University of Newcastle) to increase adoption of their technology for older adults, using codesign, training, and collaboration to manage implementation to ensure project success. Expansion of the technology in regional facilities will also be a priority.