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  • Cameron Oglesby

Guess what’s poised to become the new Boomer fashion trend

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

The generation born between 1946 and 1964 has ushered in many fashion trends – some very attractive and useful, like the progressive glasses and contact lenses that have replaced bifocals, and some of, shall we say, marginal esthetics, such as Crocs and men’s jean shorts.

But now a new Boomer fashion trend is on the horizon: Hearing aids, which up to now this cohort has resisted.

It’s not that they can’t use them. “Approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss,” the National Center on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders points out, “and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.” This can “make it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, respond to warnings, hear phones, doorbells, and smoke alarms. It can also impede enjoyable conversations with family and friends, leading to feelings of isolation and depression.

It’s mostly that they don’t want to, for reasons that are both practical and emotional.

On a practical level, it wasn’t until 2017 that federal law allowed manufacturers to sell hearing aids directly to consumers, without an audiologist’s prescription. And the FDA is still working on safety and effectiveness regulations. When you could get them, there was a good chance you couldn’t afford them; a top-of-the-line pair could set you back more than $8,000. On an emotional level, literally millions of older Americans who could benefit from simple, everyday equipment that can improve their lives simply refuse to, because it visually stigmatizes them as old.

But now all that’s about to change.

Apple’s Air Pods Pro sell for $249 a pair, including free engraving of your favorite emoji or text-and-numbers combination. While not strictly hearing aids, they do aid hearing, with a “transparency mode” featuring adjustable amplification settings. And there’s no geezer stigma about being seen wearing cool Air Pods.

Not to be outdone, Bose has come up with their $849 Sound Control Hearing Aids, which are self-tuning and also adjustable via an app. They’re the first hearing aids the FDA has gotten around to approving for direct sale – in Massachusetts, Montana, North and South Carolina, and Texas – but, unfortunately, not yet here in Virginia.

WS Audiology has designed hearing aids for “everyone who wants to look cool and wants to enjoy hearing everything that’s relevant to them and fully engage with all people that matter the most to them,” one of their press releases claims.

Even though you won’t have to see an audiologist for hearing aids, it makes sense to fine-tune and physically adjust them.

As WS audiologist Jodi Sasaki notes, “Your hearing is like a thumbprint. It isn’t generic.” And that’s not just true of hearing.

The way we see it, no clients are generic, and all deserve much better than generic senior care. That’s why we start with a thorough three-part needs assessment, involving new clients and their families to determine their needs, priorities and preferences. Only then do we custom-design a coordinated senior care management plan. To learn more, please contact us. I think you’ll like what you hear.

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