Hearing Aids for Nanogenarians - 90 Year Olds

Respect (and Treat!) Your Elders!

By Dennis A. Colucci, AuD, MA

 

 

In the aging population, hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of dementia, cognitive decline, depression and loneliness, balance deficits and falls, hospitalizations, and even early death. Information from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey indicates that 80 percent of adults above 85 years of age have significant hearing loss. For nonagenarians, the lack of socialization and increased isolation caused by hearing loss are the most important motivating factors for using hearing devices.

 

Rea et al. report that nonagenarians consider genetics, diet, good health, physical activity, social networking and resilience to be responsible for successful aging and a healthier life-course (Rea. Biogerontology 2015;16[5]:587-97).

 

According to Nosraty et. al., “Models which emphasize the absence of disease and activity as criteria for successful aging may not be the most relevant and applicable in the oldest old. Instead, preference should be given to models that focus more on autonomy, adaptation, and sense of purpose” (Nostraty. J Aging Res 2012;2012:868797). Therefore, hearing loss treatment in the eldest patients is about ensuring daily engagement and use of devices that foster usability and wear ability without discomfort.