So how do you get people who don’t think they have a hearing problem to get their hearing tested? Solution - create an innovative and engaging film that is really a hearing test in disguise.
Does Love Last Forever?, a new short film created by CHE Proximity and Cochlear Limited, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, was shown to unsuspecting cinema goers this month. They thought they were about to see the movie Lion but were treated to an extra film.
What they didn’t suspect was that Does Love Last Forever? is actually a hearing test in disguise. A film unlike anything seen (or heard) before; a simple love story told over four decades. As the years go on however, the film diverges, which is when for those that hear well, it would appear the couple’s relationship has remained resilient and fun throughout. For those hard of hearing; the couple appear to have a very different ending. Thus, leaving viewers with the question, ‘does love last forever?’
The film uses deliberate editing and camera angles to challenge those who rely on lip reading to interpret conversation. Ambient sounds are also progressively introduced to mimic real world situations and environments and work to drown out the voice frequencies. Ultimately, body language becomes the key prop that those with a hearing impairment begin to rely on and this has been directed to reinforce a tale of unhappiness and disconnection.
Cochlear recognises that one of the biggest challenges with people experiencing hearing loss is that many are in denial about the fact. Studies have shown that of the 3.5 million Australians living with hearing loss, nearly 85% of this figure have done nothing about getting treatment*.
“We know how many precious things are lost for those people living with hearing loss,” says Shaun Hand, General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Cochlear
“People lose their connection to loved ones, friendships, their career, hobbies and self-esteem. By creating something unique like the hearing test in disguise, we’re hoping to get Australians talking and taking action on hearing loss, and to share the film with people they love.”
Watch the film and take the test at www.doeslovelastforever.com
Please seek advice from your medical practitioner about treatments for hearing loss.
About Cochlear Limited
Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of over 3,000 people and invests more than AUS$100 million a year in research and development. Products include hearing systems for cochlear, bone conduction and acoustic implants.
Over 450,000 people of all ages, across more than 100 countries, now hear because of Cochlear.
Hearing loss stats in Australia – adults
- 3.5 million Australians are deaf or have a hearing loss
- Out of this figure above, 1.2 million adults have a moderate or worse hearing loss (23% had a moderate loss and 11% a severe or profound hearing loss)
- 1 in 6 Australians is affected by hearing loss
- 3 in every 4 people over 70 are affected by hearing loss
- With an ageing population, hearing loss is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians by 2050
- While interventions such as hearing aids and cochlear implants enhance a person’s ability to communicate, the majority of people with hearing loss (85%) do not have such devices
- On average, people with hearing loss delay seeking help for their disability for six years from when they realise they are experiencing difficulties
- Nearly half the people who are deaf or have a hearing loss are of working age
- The real financial cost of hearing loss is $11.75 billion or 1.4 per cent of GDP per annum
- (Access Economics Report)
- 128,000 people in Australia aged 0 to 75+ at risk of severe to profound hearing loss
- 116,000 Australians aged 45+ are at risk of severe to profound hearing loss
- Of these people at risk, only 3% get treated with Cochlear hearing implants
(Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2011)
The connection between hearing loss and dementia
Hearing loss is one of the most common complaints in adults over the age of 60. Dr Frank Lin from the US National Institute on Aging says people with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia and other cognitive disorders over time than those who retain their hearing
His research shows where there is a mild, moderate or severe hearing loss, the risk of developing dementia increases by two, three and five-fold respectively. There are also other health issues associated with deafness including diabetes, stroke, depression, elevated blood pressure and heart attack.
(Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: Frank R. Lin, MD, et al, 2013)
“Hearing loss doesn’t directly contribute to dementia, but can lead to a greater cognitive load on the brain,” Dr Lin says.
“Having to expend more effort decoding what you hear comes at a cost and that cost can be social isolation, which is one of the risk factors for dementia.”
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