Standoffish … or just hard of hearing?
What most people don’t know is that hearing impaired people are often mistaken for being stand offish or rude. What they don’t understand is that these folks often depend on face to face communication or lip reading to be able to hold a conversation.
Recently a friend of mine was mistaken for being stand offish. I was told she didn’t communicate with others nor did she respond to ‘good morning’ by others in her group as she passed by. She didn’t hear when important things around her were going on and didn’t immediately respond in the way they thought she should have.
What I explained was that hearing impaired people are often misunderstood in this way. They don’t hear, so don’t respond. Time and time again, if you communicate with them without first getting their attention, ie a gentle touch, or facing them to speak, it will seem they are ignoring you.
“But she wears hearing aids’ was the response I received. Yes, however in a large setting such as a class, with a lot of background noise, hearing properly is even worse and the need to make face to face contact is even greater
Try not to misunderstand the hearing impaired. It is one impairment that causes our older adults the most depression as it isolates them from their social groups and ultimately keeps them from attending their usual programs due to their loss of hearing, being misunderstood and not being able to hold proper conversations.