One company aims to shift views on the devices from being a sign of aging to “something that’s hip and cool,” as Congress considers a bill that would urge the FDA to allow hearing aids to be sold in drug stores.
NPR: Is it time for hearing aids to be sold over the counter?
Four out of five older Americans with hearing loss just ignore it, in part because a hearing aid is an unwelcome sign of aging. But what if hearing aids looked like stylish fashion accessories and could be bought at your local pharmacy like reading glasses? That’s the vision of Kristen “KR” Liu, who’s the director of accessibility and advocacy for Doppler Labs, a company marketing one of these devices. She thinks a hearing aid could be “something that’s hip and cool and people have multiple pairs and it’s fashionable.” (Neighmond and Greenhalgh, 4/24)
CQ Roll Call: Giant audio manufacturer pushes hearing aid bill
Consumer electronics giant Bose Corp. is pushing legislation that would allow some hearing aids to be sold over the counter, a change that could accelerate the growth of an industry dominated by just a handful of companies. … Lobbyists and congressional aides say the legislation (S 670, HR 1652) is likely to be tucked into the expected reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration user fee agreements, which is due by Sept. 30. A hearing on the bill is tentatively scheduled for May 2 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, lobbyists say. A panel spokeswoman said the committee was reviewing “a number of member priorities” and had no schedule updates. (Williams, 4/24)
As baby boomers increasingly assist their elderly parents with health issues large and small, families are having to rethink personal boundaries. Should a son accompanying his mother on a visit to her primary-care physician reveal that she is struggling with depression? Is it any business of an elderly man’s family that he is using Viagra? (Ward, 4/23)
The Washington Post: For older people living alone, daily automated calls can mean safety
Living alone can be tough for seniors. Some don’t have family nearby to check on them, and they worry that if they fall or suffer a medical emergency and can’t get to the phone to seek help, no one will know. That’s why hundreds of police agencies in small towns, suburbs and rural areas are checking in on seniors who live alone by placing an automated call to them every day. (Bergal, 4/23)