Daily Camera (Boulder)
LIFE AT 60
Jennifer La Borde, BA BC-HIS and Chelsea Walters, BS BC-HIS, know many 60-year-olds. Over one third of those 65 and up have hearing loss. As such, a large part of the people they help hear better were around when the Beatles’ songs on the radio were fresh and most televisions had wood paneling. The irony is that this 30-something duo runs an operation that has been around just as long, a legacy the pair are honored to carry. This year marks Family Hearing’s 60th year in business and it’s safe to say that, like its peers, the company has been through a lot and grown along the way.
When Family Hearing was founded, audiometers weighed 25 pounds and a hearing device might measure four inches long. The fashion of the day was for providers to recommend a single hearing device which was tuned with a screwdriver. In 1986, ownership changed hands. Chelsea and Jennifer’s mentors navigated the changing tides of recommending two hearing devices for better results and the transition from analogue hearing aids to digital. Six years ago, Chelsea and Jennifer took the reins. They have successfully navigated the integration of smart phone synergy and AI into hearing technology, as well as the change from ear gear being for the hearing impaired only to being for everyone, even Kim Kardashian. They even remained open for business throughout the pandemic and continue to thrive.
With one foot in the past and one foot in the present, Family Hearing’s current leaders have their eyes on the future. Chelsea and Jennifer have made major upgrades to equipment to ensure that they are in line with the best practices of today. From new Real Ear Measurement Systems to Digital Ear Scanning, the service offerings at Family Hearing are always expanding. Jennifer led the incorporation of Digital Ear Scanning saying, “While silicone impressions worked well for decades, Otoscan is faster, more accurate, less invasive and leads to better patient outcomes.”
Staying relevant however, is more than just staying modern. It means commitment to a method of blending the science of hearing care with the art of understanding people. Respecting each individual’s unique anatomy, hearing patterns and goals is the foundation of the Family Hearing experience. “There is personality in hearing,” explains Chelsea, “and our team is skilled at uncovering each profile so that our patients’ daily listening feels natural to them.”
At 60 years old, Family Hearing follows the advice offered to its contemporaries. It keeps a healthy diet of digesting the latest research in care and technology. It stays in shape by obliging the needs of its patients with in-office, house call and telehealth services. And most importantly it knows better than anyone the importance of staying social. Treating hearing loss is correlated with several positive outcomes, including reducing social isolation. But Jennifer and Chelsea understand that better hearing is more than those statistics. Just like some plants only release pollen when a bee buzzes at the right frequency, Family Hearing’s growth is attributed to its connection to its patients over the decades. Sound exists only in that link between two parties and that’s why connecting people to the sounds that matter most is vital. Family Hearing is coming into its own at 60. It looks forward to amplifying that experience with clearer, sharper interpersonal connections. And as the Beatles crooned, “With a love like that, you know you should be glad! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...”