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The study suggests care home staff training in hearing care for residents with dementia is often not available or not considered a priority. Resources, facilities, training, staff capacity, capability and support vary widely. Care home provision also varies between social care and independently run centres. The authors investigate the challenge of providing hearing care through exploration of the three elements of the COM-B model – capability, opportunity and motivation – with an aim to investigate how each element affects subsequent individual, organisational and environmental behaviours. It is hoped this information will reveal where change can have the most significant impact and lead to improvement. A total of 165 care home staff responded to an online survey. The participants identify that approximately half of their residents with hearing loss and dementia do not receive direct support for their hearing needs as part of their care regimen. Over 80% reported they would like further training, specifically on hearing aid care and maintenance, and fewer than 25% reported checking or testing residents’ hearing devices. It is clear too, that where skills and knowledge are in place, opportunities to practise these skills are not always available, yet these appear to be key to ongoing success and hearing aid confidence. Opportunity here is defined as time, resource, and funds as well as social links, provided when working collaboratively both with colleagues and alongside audiology centres. Waiting lists and accessibility of appointments for this group can lead to missed opportunities for joint working, collaboration and implicit care home staff training to occur. Training for care home staff is central, but not without the development of collaborative working and strong relationships with audiology centres.

Capabilities, opportunities and motivations of staff to provide hearing support to long-term care home residents with dementia.
Cross H, Armitage C, Dawes P, et al.
2023;1-8:Early online.
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Charlotte Rogers

BSc Healthcare Science (Audiology), Allied Health Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester.

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