Barriers to healthcare services and supports for signing deaf older adults.

Objective: Although developmental stages and identity have been studied as part of aging, one category of both identity and biological difference that has received little attention in the medical and public health literature is that of older adults who were born deaf and/or who identify as part of the signing Deaf community. Research Method: Researchers conducted a systematic search of the literature for barriers to care access related to both aging and deafness. Results: Lack of cultural competence among providers, coupled with inconsistent access to interpreters in medical settings, puts deaf individuals at risk for treatment without adequate consent, or insufficient care due to communication barriers or misperceptions of expression or culture. Conclusions/Implications: Individuals may face unusual challenges, indicating a serious public health crisis on the horizon as the demographic of deaf older adults continues to grow. This paper will discuss what is known about the intersection of aging, Deaf culture, and health care access, and suggest policy and practice recommendations for the future. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)