While 38 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, of those who are older than 70, only 30 percent have hearing aids. While age is the greatest predictor of hearing loss, the average senior waits seven years to address it. The effects of living with diminished hearing include social isolation which can lead to poorer health consequences. Men are more likely than women to experience hearing loss.
Many seniors feel isolated as they get older. They may have lost close friends or family members and there are fewer opportunities to make new friends as they age. Owning a pet can change that – particularly dogs. Since dogs are pack animals, most welcome social interaction with both people and other dogs. This encourages us to put ourselves out there as well. Pet ownership provides a common experience that becomes an instantaneous icebreaker. People tend to bond over animals. We amuse other people with their antics. We tend to brag about them like they are our children.