Over the past 5 years there has been an increased interest into the links between D/deafness and dementia. DSN wanted to get involved, and further increase our knowledge so that we could continue to meet the needs of our clients. We are supporting a research project titled hearing loss and cognitive impairment in ageing, and from this we have been able to develop a new service ‘You Me and Tea’
Deafness Support Network are currently funding a 3 year PhD research project looking into the links between hearing loss and cognitive decline in ageing. Past research has suggested that people with a hearing loss are more likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia, and we wanted to understand why this might be.
Our doctoral researcher, Jenna, is specifically looking into which areas of cognition might be selectively effected in people with hearing loss as a means to try and understand further a possible causal link between hearing loss and the onset of dementia. Another area of interest is the link between hearing loss and social isolation. People who are lonely and isolated may be at an increased risk of developing dementia, and it is common that people with hearing loss may become isolated as their condition progresses. Jenna is researching what effects the social and emotional implications of hearing loss may have on someone’s risk of developing dementia.
For more information about the research project visit www.dsnresearch.co.uk or contact Jenna directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
You Me and Tea
With social isolation being a possible mediator between hearing loss and dementia, we set up the service ‘You Me and Tea’ which is a café and social group ultimately designed to meet the needs of D/deaf people with memory problems and/or dementia.
DSN recognised that there was no specialist services or groups in our local area for people with hearing loss, and thus our clients often felt excluded from ready-made groups or due to lack of confidence didn’t want to join.
You Me and Tea was launched on our 40th birthday in April 2016, and offers a relaxed atmosphere for people to come and socialise, do some fun activities and have a light lunch. We are a fully inclusive group, who welcomes everybody, specifically people who are D/deaf with or without memory problems or dementia.
We host a well-established group currently running on the 4th Tuesday of every month at our Northwich base, and ‘pop up’ regularly at different locations throughout Cheshire (Check out the events section for dates). From January 2017, a monthly group is starting in the Crewe area, and we are always open to suggestions for new venues!
As each group is different, activities are entirely group led depending on specialist interests, but activities range from painting, arts and crafts and board games and reminiscence therapy, quizzes and day trips out. We like to include seated exercises and always finish with an afternoon tea style light lunch and cup of tea.