A deeply ingrained stereotype! Being old = Being deaf?

January 27, 2015 by Catherine Geoffroy

Sourd Vieux

For many of today’s youth, grandpas are nice old fellas who have pot bellies and balding heads and wire-rim spectacles, need a cane to get around, and spend most of their time sitting down. But above all, they always lean in so they can hear better. At any rate, that’s the picture some 30 young people painted when questioned during the L’âgisme, parlons en! campaign. It’s no surprise, then, that in conditions like these, many adults refuse to admit they have a hearing problem or to have it treated, for fear of appearing old.  

Strangely enough, none of these kids’ own grandparents fit that profile. So where do these stereotypes come from? Could these boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 17 have picked it up from something they read, from kids’ television shows, from encounters with very elderly people in their social circles or from someone’s inappropriate jokes about people getting old?

Attributing specific characteristics to a person based on his or her age is ageism. Don’t let yourself be discriminated against and, more importantly, don’t discriminate against others based on age. Remember, hearing loss affects people of all ages, and an appointment with a hearing health professional is recommended to find solutions that will minimize its negative effects.

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