Life has become fast and complex than ever. All the credit goes to advanced technologies. Technologies have made us better capable. But is it helping aging adults? Do they love spending time with technologies? It is hard to answer these questions. Advanced medical facilities make us live longer. At the same time, these facilities make aging more difficult and isolated. Society treats old people differently. What should be our approach? How can we help the elderly? For this, you will have to first understand what ageism is and how ageism in health care is affecting society.
What is Ageism?
Ageism is a phase of life that makes you physically and mentally vulnerable. This phase is obvious and we cannot run away from it. However, we can change our perception. Instead of considering it as the storage of isolated thoughts and diseases, we should deal with it as a powerhouse of experience. You should promote your elderly parents to actively participate in all age-appropriate things including events, sports, and parties. You should never make them feel isolated when they want your support and care.
It is easy to fight ageism. Just change your perception. You will notice a big difference. You will start enjoying their company. Also, the health care system needs to do deal with this phase with more caution to make ageism comfortable.
Is Ageism Affecting Health Care?
If you believe the experts, aging adults do not prefer to visit a doctor due to the negative vibe around them. The negativity in the mind of the people makes them weak both physically and mentally. When the available doctors find it hard to treat the condition, they blame the aging. Instead of hiring capable medical professionals, they simply blame age. This is not going to help an elderly person. It will worsen the isolation and trauma he/she is going through. In an article, Dr, Karin Ouchida and Dr. Mark Lams’ discussed ageism. They discussed how ageism is affecting health care. Here are some points discussed in that article.
- Doctors make a joke of their elderly patients. When an aging adult will be suffering from geriatrics, they will make fun of constipation and other issues. These are offensive and can affect confidence. This is not offensive only, it is unethical as well. We do not have any right to make fun of elderly people. Also, these types of comments make the geriatrics profession less popular.
- Some health care organizations treat older patients casually. They underestimate the condition. They simply say that these are old age conditions and normal at this age. Instead of treating the real cause, they start blaming the ageism. Most of the health conditions of elderly patients such as headache, memory loss, muscle pain, and digestive issues are undertreated. The result is obvious. They will not come again when they experience similar kinds of problems.
- Over-treating is common in aging adults. Health care professionals prescribe a lot of medicines that suit their age. They ignore other factors such as functionality, abilities, and preferences. They recommend many tests and screenings. As a result, the patients end up spending much more. According to a report, one-third of the budget of an aging adult is spent for no obvious cause. Over-treatment makes them spend much more than needed.
- Ageist talk is also a discouraging factor. This talk is prevalent in most health care facilities especially when it is meant to treat a senior. Also, there is a lack of communication between a doctor and a patient. The medical practitioners do not talk straight. They just assume the condition instead of trying to find out the cause. Many research studies have proved that aging adults are not being treated respectfully by health care providers. This kind of attitude is disrespectful and can severely affect the confidence of patients. It might lead to depression as well.
Ageism is inevitable. All living beings are destined to go through this phase. We are next. So, develop a positive approach and try your best not to ill-treat an aging adult. Help them to be more sociable and always greet them with respect. You will not have to try hard for this change. But it is going to make a major difference in the life of all those who are struggling every day.