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The aim of the study is to investigate whether hearing difficulties influence older adults’ social participation and life-space mobility. Life-space mobility describes the size of the spatial area where person moves as well as the frequency of travels in that area. Life-space mobility reflects the balance between individual resources and environmental challenges in person’s daily life in the real world situation. This study is based on the assumption that changes in hearing and cognition in aging and/or a noisy environment can cause a deprivation of environmental information for the affected person, which in turn can be expressed in uncertainty and poorer functioning in mobility tasks. Better understanding of the challenges hearing impaired person has to face in everyday life, and understanding of the consequences of poor hearing for the mobility is needed in order to promote the older person´s equal opportunities to participate actively in the society.

Academy of Finland, ERA-AGE 2, 2013-2015

Research group
Principal investigator
Anne Viljanen,, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

Postdoctoral researcher
Tuija Mikkola, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

Doctoral student
Hannele Polku, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

Research partners
Daniel A. Levy, The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel
Antje Heinrich, MRC Institute of Hearing Research, UK
Bruce Schneider, University of Toronto, Canada
Jean-Pierre Gagné, Université de Montréal, Canada

University of Helsinki (Prof. Jaakko Kaprio)

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