Healthcare is not exempt. But progressive researchers are proving the power of self-perception to improve health outcomes and change ageist attitudes. As a practicing physician assistant, I work in a busy urban emergency department ED.
Her work has appeared in NextAvenue. Erin via Flickr Older adults are commonly subjected to a variety of negative stereotypes — bumbling, helpless, cranky, unapproachable, child-like, to name a few. Ageism has real mental and physical health consequences, including a decreased will to live, less desire to live a healthy lifestyle, an impaired recovery from illness, increased stress and a shortened life span.
And this article in the Huffington Post shows at how some compliments can be considered ageist. They may struggle more with even basic activities of daily living.
Being older and female can be a double whammy.
Even health care providers fall into the ageism trap, Nelson points out. Providers may be reluctant to discuss using technology, fearing that an older patient may shy away from it.
Or they may routinely attribute physical or mental symptoms like depression or aches and pains as a natural part of the aging process without looking for other causes.
Rejecting stereotypes decreases the chances of developing psychological problems such as PTSD or anxiety, and also protects against physical decline. What will help even more, Nelson said, is for psychologists to educate the general public on the myths of aging and talk about the positive aspects of growing older.
Also, consider the language used when describing older people. Ensuring social and physical support systems are in place and that older people have a purpose. Nelson cites the foster grandparents program as one option for continued community involvement. Health professionals, most importantly, should check their own biases at the door when dealing with older adults.
Many of us — including journalists — may be guilty of ageism without realizing it.Dec 27, · Raising awareness about, and addressing, ageism throughout the health care system — and throughout our society — will be critical to delivering the care all of . Older patients who come to the hospital can be misdiagnosed because of ageism in health care, one physician says.
Doctors should be wary of bias. How Ageism in Health Care is Affecting Society.
Experts say it starts with changing the way society thinks about aging. Despite the advances in medicine giving humanity longevity, our fate of living longer lives remain riddled with discrimination and prejudice.
Ageism in Medicine: How It Appears, Why It Can Hurt You Interview with gerontologist Mark Lachs. by Maureen Mackey, AARP Bulletin, For people who are much older, it's actually a common form of ageism.
You might go to the doctor for pain, and without a complete evaluation or an exam, the doctor may say, 'You should expect that.
You're. age discrimination in the delivery of health care services to our elders phoebe weaver williams* introduction: age discrimination as a health care issue.
The healthcare community is not immune to the deleterious effects of ageism. It permeates the attitudes of medical providers, the mindset of older patients, and the structure of the healthcare system, having a potentially profound influence on the type and amount of care offered, requested, and received.