I’m back again today to talk about getting older and aging for my birthday month series. Today’s topic continues to explore ageism and addresses how ageism affects healthcare for older adults. In the midst of doing research for this topic, I came across an incredibly helpful infographic on the topic, and decided to post it here.
These graphics come from https://online.regiscollege.edu/blog/why-ageism-in-health-care-is-a-growing-concern/ and was created and published in Doctor of Nursing Practice/Infographics blog.
Yesterday was Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Did you know that 1 in 10 adults age 60 or older have experienced abuse? In fact, in reality it’s likely much higher, because most cases of elder abuse are unreported. Elder abuse costs victims billions of dollars a year, but it costs our communities and societies as well. Abuse leads to more hospitalizations and higher health care and legal costs which are shared by us all.
It is much easier to abuse someone if you can make that person seem less human. Dehumanizing someone is the dangerous result of “ism”s: ageism, racism, etc. In truth, we should consider it a blessing if we are able to grow old before we die. There is no shame in being old and continuing to live on this earth and to share the resources, richness, and rights of a living being in our communities. Neglecting our elder population and putting them away out of sight will not stop us from getting old or dying any more than talking about aging and death will cause them. If we can begin to address our fear of death, the terror of or mortality, we can come to love our lives, ourselves, our bodies and everyone else’s, too.