Hearing Aid Manufacturers Still Need To Listen Up About Seniors’ Specific Needs: Report

Add hearing aids to the growing list of technology tools that still are not considered user-friendly enough for the senior market. 

Despite their potential benefits, hearing aids remain expensive and often carry a stigma associated with aging and health issues. However, it’s not just the cost or visibility that deters many older adults with hearing loss from using them; usability concerns also play a significant role, as highlighted in recent research.

Experts suggest that larger and more customized hearing aids could greatly improve usability for older adults. These recommendations mirror efforts in health technology to design better smartphones for seniors. A study featured last year, exploring the effects of aging on older adults’ ears, shed light on the challenges faced by this demographic.

Shockingly, only 29% of older adults with hearing loss end up using any form of hearing aid, according to the study. This statistic aligns with previous research indicating that only 40% of adults with hearing loss even disclose their condition to healthcare providers. 

Long-term care providers and caregivers have a crucial role in informing seniors about the latest advancements in hearing aids and the consequences of neglecting hearing loss, such as dementia and an increased risk of falling.

The report suggests various tech and design improvements for hearing aids, including making them rechargeable instead of relying solely on batteries and incorporating accessories like a clip to prevent them from falling off. 

One manufacturer, ClearCast Hearing, is taking an entirely different approach to the senior hearing loss segment by making their product with large buttons and a convenient neckband form factor which is easy to put on and hard to drop or lose.

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