The association between dementia and hearing loss is recognised and services are provided to diagnose and treat hearing loss in those with dementia.

Hearing loss is associated with poorer cognitive functioning and the risk of developing dementia. If you have hearing loss this should be recognised as important by services which support you with your dementia.
You should have access to hearing tests to diagnose any hearing loss, and appropriate services to provide and maintain hearing aids.
For extra information, evidence and best practice please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Regional offerings

Dementia Wellbeing Plan for Greater Manchester; Dementia United

The Greater Manchester dementia wellbeing plan promotes personalised planning conversations with people living with dementia and carers about their needs and wants. The plan ensures an improved standard of care planning for people living with dementia and also facilitates sharing across the system. It will be available as a standardised plan which can be accessed and shared digitally between practitioners; as well as being available from the website for people affected by dementia to be using when having person centred care plan reviews

Dementia United

Working towards improving the quality of life for people living with dementia or caring for someone who has dementia, supporting people to live as independently as possible and providing access to services when needed.

Printable Medication Leaflets GMMH

Choice and Medication© Leaflets are designed to help service users, carers and family members understand their medicines better, and to make more informed decisions, best as part of a discussion with a healthcare professional.
Weblink: Printable leaflets:

Understanding hearing and sight problems and their link to dementia: Leaflet

Researchers have found a link between hearing and sight impairments and increased risk of dementia.

People with dementia are more likely to have hearing and/or sight impairment than people of a similar age without dementia.

Some people with dementia can have problems with perceiving sights and sounds, which are caused by the brain rather than their eyes or ears.

Hearing Sight Loss guide for people living with dementia (1)

National offerings

Talking Sense Online

This course explores the effects of ageing and dementia on the senses. It is informed by Agnes Houston's research and book, Talking Sense: Living with sensory changes and dementia. The e-book can be downloaded at the end of the course.



Hearing impairment is highly prevalent and represents an unmet need for people with dementia. One survey identified previously undiagnosed hearing impairment (>40 dB HL over 0.5 to 4.0 kHz in the better hearing ear) in 87% of people with dementia in the general community (Allen et al. 2003). Under-identification and lack of support for hearing impairment among people with dementia are problematic because hearing impairment exacerbates the impact of dementia¸ with lower quality of life, increased depression, functional decline, social isolation, increased dependency, and carer burden all linked to untreated hearing impairment among people with dementia (Dawes et al. 2019; Mamo et al. 2018). Hearing aids do have the potential to improve functioning and quality of life, and this could delay the progress of dementia or improve its management (NICE (2018) NG98: Hearing loss in adults: assessment and management).

Hearing loss is associated with an increased incidence of dementia. It is estimated that among people with mild to moderate hearing loss, the incidence of dementia is double that of people with normal hearing, and that the ratio increases to 5 times that of people with normal hearing in those with severe hearing loss. The cause of this association is unknown; there may be common factors causing both dementia and hearing loss, such as lifestyle, genetic susceptibility, environmental factors or age-related factors such as cardiovascular disease. Hearing loss may cause dementia either directly (for example, neuroplastic changes caused by hearing deprivation or increased listening demands) or indirectly via social isolation and depression (which are known be associated with cognitive decline and dementia) (NICE (2018) NG98: Hearing loss in adults: assessment and management). Hearing impairment has been identified as one the 12 modifiable risk factors for dementia Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission.

NICE consider referring adults with diagnosed dementia or mild cognitive impairment to an audiology service for a hearing assessment every 2 years if they have not previously been diagnosed with hearing loss (NICE (2018) NG98: Hearing loss in adults: assessment and management).

Best Practice Resources

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