A very large percentage of Americans over the age of 65 experience sensory deficits that affect many aspects of life, including work, balance, interpersonal relationships and community engagement. Hearing and vision problems contribute to cognitive impairment by placing greater demands on working memory. Sensory losses are associated with social withdrawal.
The Center will bring together interdisciplinary groups of experts from areas as diverse as medicine, law, psychology, and public policy to examine perception. Our research will be directed toward understanding the challenges facing an aging population experiencing sensory changes. This work will include studying and improving assistive devices, as well as identifying environments that enhance sensory functioning. Individual devices such as hearing aids, environment modifications such as public space hearing loop technologies, policy recommendations, insurance coverage guidelines, and better distribution and adjustment of technology will be part of our discussion and research.