There’s a lot to celebrate in May. Along with being Better Hearing Month, May brings Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and the national observance of “Older Americans Month.” You may not have heard of that last one, as it can get mixed up in all the excitement of the other holidays, but we’ve actually been celebrating it nationally for over 50 years!
In 1963, when the average life expectancy was only 68 years old, President John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging all Americans to honor older people across the country. Since then, every president has issued a formal proclamation, and the name of this month has been changed to Older Americans Month.
With Americans living longer and healthier than ever before, there is plenty to celebrate and honor. Older Americans have dedicated themselves to their families, neighborhoods, workplaces, and community organizations. Their diverse experiences and contributions– sometimes at great personal sacrifice–have shaped our nation and younger generations. These cherished members of our communities deserve recognition today and every day.
Older Americans in the Workplace
Not only are Americans living longer, they’re working longer too. Americans ages 65 and older are the fastest-growing group in the workforce. In fact, the number of employed older Americans increased nearly 35 percent just between 2011 and 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Why are Americans delaying retirement? You may expect the reason to be money, and that’s partially right. Living longer means an income is needed longer, especially as retirement benefits grow less generous and pensions become almost nonexistent.
But satisfaction is also a key reason that older Americans are staying on the job. Two-thirds of older workers feel they are doing useful, meaningful work.
Older Americans and Dementia
Although the actual number of people with dementia will rise as the baby boomer population ages, the rate of dementia is actually declining 1% to 2.5% each year. One possible factor for this decline is education. A much higher percentage older adults today have a college degree, and those who graduate college are three times less likely to experience dementia than those who do not graduate high school. Among adults ages 65 and older, only 5 percent had completed a bachelor’s degree in 1965, and that number rose to 25 percent by 2014.
Older Americans and Hearing Loss
Approximately 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 have hearing loss, but only one in five wear the hearing aids they need. Despite how common it is, hearing loss is still received by many with denial, shame, and hesitation to seek out solutions.
Hearing aids can help protect from other issues related, such as early dementia. A John Hopkins University study performed by otologist and epidemiologist Dr. Frank Lin found that cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia increased by 20% for every 10 decibels of hearing loss in a subject. That’s a big deal!
Even mild hearing loss can drastically affect your workplace relationships. After all, if you can’t hear during important meetings, you can’t effectively communicate and thrive at your job.
Older Americans and Hearing Aids
At MDHearing, we believe the stigma of hearing aids should never hinder your day-to-day life. But there’s good news! There are discreet, nearly invisible modern hearing aids on the market, and they don’t have to cost a fortune. MDHearing sells hearing aids directly to the customer, cutting out all the middlemen and saving you money. Our behind-the-ear design is hidden away from sight while still being big enough for older Americans to easy use the controls. It’s the best of both worlds.
Try our 45 day risk-free hearing aid trial.
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