Restaurants (43%), pubs (42%), and supermarkets (29%) are the top places where over-60s – find it difficult to hear properly, a study has found.
One in three people (34%), who have reached their seventh decade, say they experience moderate or severe hearing loss – with half of those (49%) saying this developed from the ages of 51-65.
And a fifth, of the 1,000 over-60s surveyed, say they struggle to go shopping, while 9% find it difficult to hear in banks.
In fact, one in four say they are not even able to manage basic tasks, such as taking a phone call. And as such, 20% of this age group are concerned about the closure of high-street stores – as they fear having to access online or telephone services (41%).
Despite their struggles while out and about, eight in ten still believe it is vital for them to have access to businesses like the post office, the bank, or health services.
The study was commissioned by Scrivens Opticians and Hearing Care, which recommends a free hearing check for anyone over the age of 50.
A spokesman said: “Our research shows that despite the changing shape of our high street, there is a need for in-person services to support the whole community.
“Communication is vital, and we want to make sure everyone has the ability to confidently express themselves – no matter their age or hearing ability. You shouldn’t have to miss a moment just because you might struggle with your hearing.”
Six in ten said their hearing loss makes them feel frustrated, while 36% were annoyed. It also left a quarter feeling old.
More than half of those with hearing loss said the first sign of it was having to ask people to repeat themselves, while 38% said it was others noticing the TV volume was creeping up – and 29% had been accused of selective hearing by a loved one.
Consequently, in a bid to hide their embarrassment, four in ten would just nod along and pretend they can hear everything.
However, 30% claim their hearing issues have had a negative impact on their social life, as they struggle to keep up with colleagues, or have to miss out on family events – such as grandchildren’s nativity plays.
And 4% of those polled, via OnePoll, could no longer enjoy listening to their favourite music.
The spokesman for Scrivens Opticians and Hearing Care, which offers free hearing checks, and is marking Hearing Awareness Month in November, added: “Better hearing can improve your personal relationships, reduce stress, increase your motivation, and improve your overall peace of mind.
“Our research also revealed most people are unaware of the link between untreated hearing loss and dementia – so it’s never been more important to seek out help and support.
“The fact that so many people over 60 are impacted by their hearing is something we want to help with and rectify.”
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