Audiologists and mental health professionals in an area outside Manchester, England, are working together to provide patients with early diagnosis for both hearing and memory issues. Audiologists in Bury, Oldham and the Rochdale borough can now perform basic memory screenings on patients. In turn, the audiologists give mental health professionals at the local memory clinic tips on recognizing hearing issues.
This interprofessional exchange offers patients a chance at faster referrals, which can lead clients to earlier treatment. In an article from Rochdale Online, Helen Lilley, who works for the Manchester area’s National Health Service foundation trust, states: “Early diagnosis is vital for people suspected of having dementia so they can get the very best treatment and support.”
Although it’s happening across the Atlantic, this official teaming of audiologists and mental health professionals could also become more common in the U.S. More research shows a link between hearing loss and dementia, so it makes sense for people in those fields to work together toward faster diagnosis and treatment for patients.
More on ties between hearing loss and dementia:
Research by Frank Lin and his team reveals a strong association between untreated hearing loss and the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults—a link that poses big public health problems because of the aging population, says Lin.