The vital role that hearing plays to the well-being of older Australians

Mar 04, 2024
"Hearing is not just about perceiving sound; it's about connecting with others and engaging in meaningful interactions." Source: Getty Images.

Following World Hearing Day on March 3, a recent survey conducted by Audika has underscored the indispensable role that hearing plays in the lives of Australians aged 65 and above.

The survey findings reveal that an overwhelming 74 per cent of respondents in this demographic consider their hearing as pivotal for fostering community engagement and meaningful interactions.

Despite this recognition, a striking 89 per cent admit to prioritising their eyesight over their hearing.

Audika’s survey, designed to explore the perceptions of hearing’s significance in daily life, sheds light on the profound impact auditory health has on social participation among seniors.

With over 15 years of experience in the hearing industry, Lauren McNee, an Audiologist and Clinical Trainer at Audika, emphasises the broader implications of hearing on relationships and mental well-being.

“Hearing is not just about perceiving sound; it’s about connecting with others and engaging in meaningful interactions. Three-quarters of Australian seniors that participated in the survey said hearing is important to help them engage with their community,” McNee said.

The survey also points to another concerning trend as 48 per cent of respondents believe they are grappling with hearing loss, yet a substantial 67 per cent haven’t undergone a hearing test in the past year.

When questioned about their tendency to overlook their hearing, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of respondents attributed it to a lack of understanding and uncertainty about where to begin.

Additionally, a significant majority, almost 6 in 10 (59 per cent) respondents, concurred that a negative stigma surrounding hearing loss plays a role in their perception.

However, McNee stresses the urgency of proactive measures when it comes to one’s hearing, stating, “Our survey highlights the critical role auditory health plays in enabling seniors to actively participate in their communities and maintain their overall well-being.”

“Prioritising auditory health means seeking regular hearing assessments and taking proactive measures to address any hearing-related issues,” McNee added.

In a more heartwarming revelation, 37 per cent of senior respondents express that the sound of their loved ones speaking is their favourite.

As World Hearing Awareness Week approaches, the survey serves as a poignant reminder for older Aussies to reflect on the importance of hearing care, ensuring they can continue to enjoy the sounds that bring joy into their lives.

If you’re keen on delving deeper into the connection between maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age and addressing hearing loss, make sure not to miss our masterclass. Discover why taking steps to treat hearing loss can pave the way for you to lead your best life beyond 60.

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