According to the World Health Organization, children as young as four become aware of their culture’s age stereotypes. Ageism is a form of discrimination that affects the way people are perceived and treated. Although it can impact all ages, it is most common for older individuals to be treated as less valuable or less capable than younger individuals.
This can cause internalized negative beliefs about aging, which leads to decreased self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. It can also lead to poorer health outcomes, financial insecurity and have a negative impact on mental health. It is important to recognize and challenge these concepts and cliches towards aging in order to create a more inclusive and respectful society for everyone.
Learn how ageism correlates with hearing loss, the effects ageism has on older adults in the workplace and the importance of seeing an ear specialist!
How ageism correlates with hearing loss
One area where ageism is prevalent is in the context of hearing loss, a common medical condition. Although hearing loss can develop at any age, ageism often leads to unfavorable views about hearing loss that prevent older adults from receiving the necessary treatment.
For example, some people may assume that hearing loss is a natural part of aging and therefore not treatable, or that older adults with hearing loss are simply uninterested in engaging with others. How often do we see hearing loss used as the butt of the joke in entertainment—or even in our everyday conversations? These attitudes are harmful because untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression and a decrease in overall quality of life.
Ageism in the workplace
Ageism can also manifest in the workplace, where older adults with hearing loss may face discrimination when it comes to hiring or promotions. This can reinforce the stereotype that mature workers, particularly those with hearing loss, are less productive than their younger counterparts.
The importance of seeing an ear specialist
Hearing loss can contribute to health disparities among older adults, who may be less likely to seek medical care and more likely to experience miscommunication or misunderstanding at their medical appointments. This can lead to other health problems and complications and reinforce the stereotype that older adults are sickly or confused. Persons with hearing loss should not hesitate to ask for written information regarding their condition and care at medical appointments.
Hearing loss is a medical condition that requires attention and treatment. Seeking help for your hearing loss can improve communication, relationships and overall well-being—and help combat ageism! If you’re concerned you or a loved one may have hearing loss, don’t wait. Contact us today to see how an ear specialist can help, and discover what options are available for treatment!