They say that all the money in the world can’t buy you good health. And it’s so true.
With more and more of us living longer, maintaining a healthy body and mind as we age is crucial. According to the Australian Government’s Health and Welfare department, it’s a mixed story for older adults in Australia. People aged 65 or over do well in some areas, but not others.
- Only 35% are sufficiently active to maintain good health – for older people, all you need is 30 minutes of moderate exercise (for example, brisk walking, sports, gardening or swimming) on most, if not all, days of the week.
- About 8% are eating the right amount of fruit and vegetables (though the rest of the population isn’t doing too well on this measure either). The right diet helps protect against conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- 72% are overweight or obese, which increases the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, among other things.
On the positive side not many older Australians smoke. They also tend to have a lower rate of alcohol consumption and most have a regular flu shot, which helps protect them from the dreaded influenza virus.
Hearing health is also important for a happy, long-lived life too!
Hearing loss is recognised as one of the top 10 diseases burdening people aged 65 years and over.
In Australia, one in six people has a hearing loss. This rises to three in every four people over 70 years of age. 1 Our hearing declines gradually as the ‘outer hair cell’ function in the cochlea or inner ear ‘wears down’.
While hearing loss commonly gets worse with age, doing what you can to protect it throughout your life is important. Noisy workplaces can be a real hazard, not to mention listening to loud music or podcasts using earphones or earplugs.
Along with other health conditions, poor hearing can provide challenges for people’s cognitive function – how you think and react. It’s also associated with lower quality of life, increased depression, as well as increase mortality rate.
So much for the bad news.
The good news about hearing
Here are just some of the ways healthy hearing can have a positive impact on your life:
Better hearing is great for our social life
Being able to communicate easily with the people in our lives – including family, friends, neighbours, shopkeepers and the family GP – makes life a whole lot less stressful. Regular social interaction can help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, depression, and other emotional, behavioural and biological declines.
Better hearing keeps us independent
Often, it’s necessary to rely on others a little more as we get older. But having a real sense of independence – being in control – can make us feel a whole lot better. Good hearing means we can easily reach people by phone when we need to. We can feel comfortable going to a movie or a show. It means we can have ‘full participation’ in our community.
It’s all about hearing more clearly
Better hearing isn’t just about making sounds louder – simple amplification. It’s about hearing more clearly. Certainly, for many people, hearing aids are the answer. They can help make hearing conversations much easier, blocking out unhelpful background noise.
Having a thorough hearing check and review with a qualified hearing care clinician is critical if you’re going to make the most of your hearing as you age. And having the support of those around you when you get your hearing aids is also an important factor when you’re getting used to new hearing devices.2
It’s probably not possible to have the same hearing that you enjoyed when you were 18. But it certainly is possible to live a happy and healthy life by making the most of the hearing you have.
If you have any questions, please give us a call on 1300 970 558 to make an appointment or contact us via our online booking form.