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Ageism And Stereotypes Of Health Care Essay

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Ageism in Health Care Ageism and stereotypes of older people can have an important impact on their physical health, mental health and overall wellbeing. Negative stereotypes of older people being dependent and decrepit can be internalized and become self-fulfilling. These ageist thoughts and stereotypes can lead to older people not seeking health care in general and to not get treatment appropriate for their illness or medical condition due to their age and not based on any other factor. Older people also suffer from more chronic health conditions than their younger counterparts, making their care much more involved and complex. For this reason, many health care professionals develop negative attitudes towards providing care for elderly. Their ageist attitudes can be expressed and experienced as microaggressions, making elders hesitant to seek and follow medical advice. Interestingly, nurses view working with elderly patients in a much more positive light. It is postulated that this is because the mission of nursing includes caring for people rather than seeking to cure them (Chrisler, Barney & Palatino, 2016). Stereotypes and assumptions about cognitive deficits and functional decline contribute to the experience of infantilization of elders in the health care setting. Through this process, elders may be given assistance they do not need or experience other people making decisions for them that they are capable of making for themselves. Health care
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