West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has served on the Hearing Loss Commission which has published the findings of their inquiry on the individual, economic and social costs of hearing loss.
MP Rosie who wears hearing aids herself and is the eldest daughter of deaf parents was invited to join the commission by the International Longevity Centre UK – the leading think tank on ageing and longevity – given her knowledge and experience of hearing loss.
The report presents new data to show not only the predicted growth in the number of people with hearing loss, which is set to account for almost 20% of the total population by 2031, but also highlights a £25 billion loss to the UK economy in potential economic output.
Given the widespread acceptance of an ageing time bomb, the commission looked at why hearing loss remains on the sidelines for both the general public and politicians and what the cost will be to our society, if we fail to take action.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“I’ve grown up and live in world where hearing loss is part of everyday life and is in many ways the norm in my life. My own experiences gave me an appreciation for, and understanding of, the barriers people have to overcome, especially if suffering hearing loss later in life.
“As the number of people with hearing loss grows we have to recognise the impact it has on their lives and their family.
“Hearing loss is an issue that can no longer be ignored or put to the back of the queue. Hearing loss is not a quirky trait in older people. There are serious consequences yet they can be addressed in most cases through improving technology but there needs to be greater understanding and awareness of the problem.”
This report builds on the evidence that highlights the profound individual, family and societal consequences of hearing loss. We know hearing loss compounds social isolation and loneliness, particularly for older people and can act as a barrier for socialising with family and friends, employment and other recreational activities.