MidLifers And Seniors
Did you know? Hearing difficulties are showing in midlifers (the population aged 45 to 65) as baby boomers move into their senior years. And it’s not just the over-45s whose hearing is fading, as the chart below shows.
Statistically, one in six people who would benefit from a hearing-device doesn’t wear one. Many people are in denial about having hearing difficulties, but this social group is driving hearing-device makers to innovate their products.
Hearing Loss Through The Life-Stages
|Age Group||Percentage||Potential Responses|
|Teens (aged 12 – 19)||19.5%||Turning down ear-buds; education about protecting their hearing.|
|Adults (20 – 44)||17%||Details of smartphone-linked hearing devices; workplace solutions.|
|Mid-Lifers (45 to 65)||18%||Strategies for talking in groups; tracking new hearing technologies.|
|Young Seniors (65 to 74)||30%||Information about texting, captions for TV and digital hearing-devices.|
|Elder Seniors (75 & over)||47%||Regular checks of hearing/devices; strategies for talking in groups.|
Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (US).
With midlifers being sensitive about their hearing, just don’t call their devices hearing-aids. A market for app-paired hearing-amplifiers is emerging, with Bluetooth-compatible products like SoundFocus, SoundHawk and SoundWorld.
Top-range, made-for-iPhone hearing-aids are reaching the market, with Starkey’s Halo and Phonak’s Lyric leading the posse. Hearables (smart ear-buds) are estimated as a USD 5 billion market by 2018, with Wired presenting hearing-aids as a market that is ripe for disruption as 76.4 million baby boomers move into new life stages.
Mid-lifers will take to wearables, being familiar with the smartphone pairing technology involved and particularly with lifelong education opportunities sourced through their workplaces or personal interests.
Seniors have more options for hearing than in previous years, but find hearing-aids complex and expensive and don’t necessarily want to manage their hearing-aids with smartphones or iPads, unlike baby boomers.
Hearing loss is linked to dementia but more study is needed in this area, particularly since the two conditions can be confused for the other. Trial and error may be needed, to find the hearing-aid that best suits a wearer’s needs.
When the right device is found however, the benefits are almost priceless.