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2023 Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship (AARF)

Supporting Needs of Care Partners of Persons with Dementia and Hearing Loss

How can we improve care for persons with dementia experiencing hearing loss?

Danielle Powell, M.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD - United States


Loss of hearing and other sensory impairments are common in older adults and have also been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Although hearing loss can be treatable, if left untreated, it can lead to social isolation and negatively impact a person’s quality of life and lead to social isolation. Dr. Danielle Powell plans to understand general hearing care for individuals with dementia who have hearing loss.

Research Plan

Dr. Powell and colleagues will first study how hearing loss detection and follow-up care differs between individuals with dementia compared to cognitively unimpaired individuals in primary care clinics. They will do this by examining medical records from over 4,000 older individuals with hearing loss, including over 900 individuals with dementia. The team will then conduct interviews with a smaller group of individuals living with dementia and hearing loss, as well as their caregivers and primary care clinicians to understand the barriers and challenges experienced by individuals with dementia seeking hearing care.


The results of this project may help us better understand the needs of persons living with dementia and hearing loss and may lead to the development of new strategies to improve hearing care for these individuals.

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