Tell the Ontario government: increase hearing aid support from Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
No matter where you purchase hearing aids, more support is needed to help make the world accessible for everyone.
It’s been about 40 years since the Ministry of Health’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP) started grants for hearing aids. It’s been 30 years since the grant amount has increased. Back in the 90s, and now, the ADP grant is $500 per hearing aid.
That $500 went a pretty long way in the mid-1990s. Sure, it’s better than nothing. But if the Ministry’s aim is to protect the overall health of Ontarians, and make the world accessible for them, something needs to be done.
Hearing aids have changed dramatically since ADP started offering the grant. They’ve become digital. They’ve become rechargeable. They connect via Bluetooth so you can answer phone calls, stream music and TV, and more. All this in addition to being more efficient and effective at making the world and its conversations more accessible. These enhancements have raised the prices of hearing aids.
No matter where you purchase your hearing aids, more support from an ADP grant could make the difference between getting the sounds of your world back or living with muddled voices or near silence.
Please learn more in the background information below. Sign our petition, write or call your MPP. It’s time for a change.
The Ontario Ministry of Health’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP) contributes $500 per hearing aid when someone has hearing loss and a prescription. It’s been $500 since the mid-1990s, with no increase in 30 years.
The cost of hearing aids has escalated in that time due to increased use of high-end technology – which delivers better results and more compliance with wearing prescribed hearing aids. Hearing aids are medical equipment necessary to make the world accessible to those with hearing loss.
Currently, millions of dollars of healthcare spending are used for the care of dementia and serious falls – both of which research has shown are at increased risk with untreated hearing loss. With severe untreated hearing loss, risk of developing dementia increases by 5 times and risk of a serious fall increases by 10 times.
The economic burden of dementia on healthcare systems grows every year. In 2020, there were 597,000 people in Canada living with dementia. It’s estimated that, by 2030, there will be nearly double that number – 955,900 people living with dementia. The cost of dementia to healthcare and the economy in Canada each year is over $10 billion.
According to Statistics Canada, over one-third of seniors hospitalized for falls are then admitted to long-term care. Falls also cause 85 per cent of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations. With fractures and head injuries being the major injuries resulting from falls, healthcare costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars per person when considering hospitalizations and later long-term care.
Research from around the world shows the intense impact untreated hearing loss has on overall health risks; it’s time for the provincial government to increase the amount available through ADP and help more people in Ontario stay healthier, reduce the risks of falls that end in hospitalization and curtail the risk of developing dementia.
That $500 from 1994 is equal to $1,000 in today’s money. The provincial government needs to increase the support for hearing aids now.
Please sign our petition and/or write your MPP asking them to increase the ADP grant for hearing aids.
You can also sign the petition in person at any of our offices.