Inmost countries across the world, demographic trends indicate that thepopulation is ageing. This means that today and in the next fewyears, the numbers of the elderly who require specialized care willincrease. Naturally, nurses will bear the biggest responsibility interms of providing care for them. However, many reports and articlescontinue to report instances of discriminatory attitudes towards theelderly. This is especially alarming considering the fact that theyare charged with providing care. This paper gives a summary ofseveral articles exploring the subject of ageism, or lack thereof,and how such attitudes might change.
Dela Rue, M. (2003). Preventing Ageism In Nursing Students: An ActionTheory Approach. AustralianJournal of Advanced Nursing,8-14.
Thepopulation of the world is continually ageing. In Australia, highlife expectancy and a growing ageing population means more people aresurviving beyond the age of 75. At this age, the need for specializedcare is high, and the likelihood of nurses encountering the elderlyis therefore high. Unfortunately, ageism is very much present inAustralian society and can be found in Nursing. This articledescribes a study conducted with the aim of gauging final yearnursing students’ attitudes towards age and the elderly. The studyaimed to emancipate these students and prepare them to dealappropriately with the elderly in their future practice. A focusgroup of nine volunteers was used, and information gathered throughclinical diaries filled over a six month period.
Doherty,M., Mitchell, E. A., & O`Neill, S. (2011). Attitudes ofHealthcare Workers towards Older People in a Rural Population: ASurvey Using the Kogan Scale. NursingResearch and Practice.
Theglobal demographic trend of an ageing population means nurses willencounter the elderly more in their practice. They therefore need tobe well equipped with the right knowledge and skills required tofulfill these needs effectively. This research paper targets ruralpopulations, aiming to establish the attitudes of nurses, nursingassistants, nursing students and other healthcare assistants towardsolder people. The survey was done in the republic of Ireland, andrevealed that many healthcare workers have a positive attitudetowards the elderly. In addition, the survey found that studying to ahigher level has a positive correlation with nurse attitudes towardsolder people. The researchers chose rural populations due to the factthat work in many cases in rural counties is outside home. Inaddition, the migration of younger family members to urban areas toseek work continues to challenge the provision of care for theelderly.
Herdman,E. (2002). Challenging the Discourses of Nursing Ageism.International Journal of Nursing Studies, 105–114.
Thegrowing ageing population has resulted in increased focus on thetopic of nursing and ageism. Traditionally, the narrative has alwaysbeen of nurses having positive relation to the elderly. Many studiescome to this conclusion after studying the attitudes of nurses andtheir career choices. Herdman challenges these conclusions by arguingthat these studies never take into account the links betweendiscourse, social processes and power. This study collectedinformation through semi-structured questionnaires and interviews.The study collected information on the reasons for student nursestaking their nursing degree courses, their career specialtypreferences, the reasons for these preferences and their thoughts onworking with the elderly. According to the results of these study,there was no clear evidence of a link between attitudes towards theelderly and career preference. Additionally, there was littleevidence of ageism.
Courtney,M. D., Shilu, T., & Walsh, A. M. (2000). Acute Care Nurses`Attitudes towards Older Patients: a Literature Review. InternationalJournal of Nursing Practice, 62-69.
Increasein life expectancy means a higher number of patients requiring theservices of acute care nurses. Attitudes of nurses to the elderly insituations such as this might affect the quality of care provided.Negative attitudes are often as a result of knowledge gaps andstereotypes that end up affecting the quality of acute care receivedby the elderly. Meanwhile, the instruments used to measure availableknowledge and knowledge about older people, although reliable areoutdated and do not have a care or patient-centric perspective. Thisresearch paper utilized the CINAHL database to review existingliterature on the acute care setting and attitudes towards olderpeople. The purpose of the paper was to demonstrate the need andargue for a better research tools that include both a caringdimension and a focus on the patient.
Simkins,C. L. (2007). Ageism`s Influence On Healthcare Delivery and NursingPractice. Journalof Student Nursing Research,24- 28.
Thebasic definition of ageism is that it is the intentional orsubconscious discrimination towards older people. Despite the generalprevalence of ageism, nurses have been able to offset these attitudesand improve the quality of care given to elderly people. They havedone this through the education of healthcare providers, families andpatients about the effects of ageist attitudes and its effect on thequality of care received. The aim of this paper is to investigate howmuch ageism affects healthcare delivery through the review ofliterature on ageist attitudes. Through this literature review, thepaper will then discuss the viability of suggested interventions andthe implications on nursing.
Nelson,T. D. (2005). Ageism: Prejudice Against Our Feared Future Self.Journalof Social Issues,207–221.
Thisarticle describes age as one of the three primitive or automaticclassifications that humans use to categorize others, together withrace and gender. While there has been considerable research ondiscrimination on the basis of gender and race, relatively little isavailable on the topic of ageism. This article attempts to putforward the idea that old age is now considered undesirable, unlikein the past, and that ageism is simply the negative reaction or fearin the minds of younger individuals of their future selves.