Hearing-​impaired people and ageism

August 12, 2016
malentendant agisme
We frequently talk about the integration problems facing hearing-impaired people of all ages. We forget to talk about stereotypes about elderly people with hearing loss.

Sometimes, people associate hearing loss with old, disabled people with declining physical capabilities. This type of thinking undermines a person’s identity.

Such stereotypes affect people’s self-perception, leading them to believe that they are too old and there is nothing they can do. They may even forgo medical care and settle for their limited environment.

When hearing-impaired people recognize their particular needs, use available resources, and receive appropriate support from their friends and the community, they are able to continue their professional, physical, and social activities at all ages, and live responsibly and independently.

Changing personal and societal opinions about aging and hearing loss by avoiding all forms of ageism is a step toward dismantling stereotypes. Rethinking social realities and denouncing ageism will lead to a better understanding of the effects of aging and hearing loss.

References:
TASSÉ, Louise, “L’oreille Cassée. “Le stigmate de la surdité chez les personnes âgées malentendantes.” Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1997, pp. 85–97.
POULIOT, L-M., BEAUDOIN, M., and POITRAS, M., “La surdité n’a pas d’âge.” Vie et vieillissement, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2013.