Dr Hilary Jones World Hearing Day

How to feel young as you get older, with Dr Hilary Jones

Contributed by James Pocock

03/03/2024 00:00:00 • 4 min read

World Hearing Day (3 March 2024) is an annual event organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), which aims to raise awareness around hearing care and hearing loss treatment and prevention.

This year, World Hearing Day is focusing on overcoming the challenges posed by societal misperceptions and stigmatising mindsets around hearing loss.

According to the WHO, one of the key factors stopping people with hearing loss getting the care they need is perception.

People often put off getting their hearing checked because they’re too embarrassed to seek help, in fear that admitting they have a problem will make them appear ‘old’. In fact, according to a recent survey, hearing loss is one of the top three most stigmatising aspects of ageing, behind only forgetfulness and frailty.

Changing perceptions around hearing loss and hearing aids is key to helping more people hear better, and the benefits of treating hearing loss, and treating it early, cannot be overstated.

GP and Health broadcaster Dr Hilary turned 70 last year and is helping us raise awareness of the benefits of better hearing and a youthful mindset as we age so you can Keep Being You.

Dr Hilary says: “Mindset is vital in continuing to feel younger psychologically. For me, my decision was to delay retirement as I simply wasn’t ready for it. It’s important to keep the mind and the body busy. I walk the springer spaniel five miles at a time on a regular basis. I do the heavy work in the garden. I visit the gym and regularly swim.

“New skills are really important. I have written three novels in the last three years and enjoy keeping abreast of current affairs and doing games such as crosswords. I always have a project on the go, whether it’s redecorating the house, fixing an old car or sorting the wardrobe.”

Watch Dr Hilary talk about why your hearing is essential for you to Keep Being You


What research has found:1

  • Feeling younger psychologically may actually lead to living longer than those who say they feel their age or older. The gap between people’s subjective age and actual age has been found to have increased over the past 60 years and there are some real benefits to feeling younger than you are. You’re more likely to do things that preserve your health, like eating well and exercising regularly.
  • Exercise is as good for your brain as it is for your body. It keeps your reasoning and thinking skills sharp by increasing blood flow to your brain, along with various chemicals that help protect it.
  • When you learn a new skill or subject your brain makes new pathways between its many cells. Try learning a language, creative writing or a new hobby that interests you. The harder it is for you to get the hang of in the beginning, the better for your brain.

According to Dr Hilary: “There is a widening gap between one’s chronological age and biological age if we look after ourselves. This can be measured in terms of heart health, brain health and joint health. It can also be reflected in one’s circulation, weight, liver stiffness, exercise tolerance, respiratory function, muscle strength, sociability and libido.

“I had laser blended eye surgery so my vision remains good and I would not hesitate to use a modern hearing aid should I require one. Hearing loss is the most modifiable factor for preventable forms of dementia.”

Oticon Intent hearing aids

What research has found:

  • People who manage hearing loss with hearing aids report lower levels of depression, anxiety and social isolation, and their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s is reduced. Research just published in the Lancet2 even suggests a link between regular hearing aid use and a lower risk of mortality.

  • Over 40% of people aged over 50 have hearing loss in the UK and over 70% of people aged over 703. Left untreated, it’s a condition that can negatively affect our personality and every aspect of life - our relationships, confidence and self-esteem, our ability to work and engage fully with the world around us.

Oticon Intent hearing aids

Acting on a hearing loss early can have a positive impact on your physical and mental well-being and should be treated like any other aspect of your health. You wouldn’t hesitate to visit a dentist or optician, and getting regular hearing tests, especially if you’re over 55, shouldn’t be any different. Gone are the days of clunky, cumbersome hearing aids; today’s models are more powerful, more discreet and more technologically advanced than ever before.

And remember, hearing aids don’t make you look old, but constantly asking people to repeat themselves, turning the TV up too loud or becoming less socially active could well do. After all, age is just a number.

Book your free hearing test so you can keep hearing & doing the things you love and Keep Being You.


1: “A Global study on Wellbeing and Quality of Life”, YouGov, 24,000 adults, across 14 countries, December 2021.

2: K.K. Brewster, C. Maitlin, “The effect of hearing aids on mortality”, The Lancet Health & Longevity, Volume 5, Issue 1, January 2024

3: YouGov Survey of 2,000 UK adults, aged 18 to 55+, commissioned for the Keep Being You Campaign run by UK high-street hearing specialists Hidden Hearing