Over a third of people over the age of 65 have hearing loss.
And yet, 80% of people who need hearing aids don’t get them.
The short answer: it’s complicated.
The long answer: read the research study.
I am struck by a recurring theme of indecision, feeling overwhelmed, and procrastinating. This theme is reflected in comments such as: I am still undecided (31.3%); the idea of getting hearing aids and getting used to them is too overwhelming (13.8%); I still intend to proceed with getting hearing aids (29%); and wearing them is too much fuss and bother (14.1%). (People could choose multiple reasons for not proceeding with hearing aids, so the percentages in the studies add up to more than 100%).
I can relate. I’ve had health issues (not hearing loss, though!) that I’ve procrastinated about. I just didn’t know where to start.
The answer: focus on starting. This is the primary message in the book, The Now Habit. The author, Dr. Neil Fiore, is a psychologist who outlines strategies for people who procrastinate.
I loved this message because it works. In a nutshell, Dr. Fiore tells us to keep starting. Think small. Do not aim to finish—finishing will take care of itself. And if you must worry, worry about starting.
To hear better, here are suggested starting points:
- Find a hearing care professional.
- Hearing test. You can get that one out of the way right now! Make an appointment. It’s just information.
- Start an auditory training program.
- Learn how to lipread.
- Join a consumer organization.
- Adopt new communication strategies. If you make a small change like admitting that you didn’t hear, and asking other people to slow down, you start down a whole new path. The path is called: taking responsibility for your hearing loss.
- Educate yourself. Below are some suggested authors, websites and books.
- Another Boomer Blog
- A Quiet World
- Auricle Ink Publishers (Richard Carmen, Marshall Chasin, Richard Tyler)
- Better Hearing Institute
- Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
- Deafened but not Silent
- Gael Hannan
- Healthy Hearing.com
- Hearing Loss Association of America
- Hearing Loss Web
- Hearing Impaired.Net
- International Federation of Hard of Hearing People
- Mayo Clinic
- Neil Bauman
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