Ageism In A Multicultural Society Essay

1499 words - 6 pages

Summary
Ageism, which can also be referred to as age discrimination is the oversimplified conception of animosity against individuals or groups because of their age. This can also be a term used to describe the attitudes and ideals used to rationalize age based narrow-mindedness and intolerance. Age discrimination has an overwhelming outcome on our economy and society and it is common for senior citizens to face discrimination in health, housing, and various other essential services (Chang, Simon, Dong, 2010). Employment can be difficult when seniors are unable to retire and have no options for another job. This creates a vulnerable situation to layoffs or dismissal when there are up ...view middle of the document...

Although their credentials and work ethic may be excellent, companies appear to refrain from hiring an older person who may want to retire in the next few years (Gallaher, M, 2008). Another issue may occur as jobs are available, they may not meet the candidate’s qualifications. These types of situations make it difficult to turn down a position that lacks interest or dignity if they are having trouble making ends meet.
Health care is a major concern of elderly patients, as U.S. populations have become more diverse with specific challenges growing for health care providers to offer multicultural care. Hospitals in the U.S. and their medical education departments have developed specific courses regarding cultural competence training to recognize the importance of multicultural care (Chang, Simon, Dong, 2010). Medical education residency programs are continuously being adjusted and adapted to meet the health needs of older immigrants. Understanding diverse cultural backgrounds and its corresponding behaviors is an important subject in medical education curriculum. Communication in the health care field has become significant as the understanding of culture becomes essential to an effective and respectful conversation with the patient.
Aging Americans are particularly defenseless to ineffective health care simply for the fact they are not offered the same treatment options as younger people (Morrisey, B. 2010). Seniors are frequently denied referrals to specialists and access to new or experimental medicines and are often excluded from participation in any major clinical trials. Elderly patients need to be more involved in their health care treatments and options by taking a hands on approach, speaking up and asking questions of their physician or health care provider (Combating Ageism, 2011). Long-term and/or assisted senior living facilities are especially known for mediocre treatment options, abuse and not responding to patient needs. Family members must maintain a watchful eye on loved ones residing in these facilities to make sure their needs are met and they are treated with respect and dignity.
Ageism has been openly related to depression, loneliness and suicide with the most vulnerable groups being mature men and women either never married, divorced or widowed (Borel, H. 2008). Older adults frequently confront a large number of adjustments and anxieties in relation to the aging process. These changes have been known to cause depression, grief, suicide and a sense of isolation. Very common in older adults, depression is often unreported or unrecognized and it diminishes quality of life and can lead to suicide (Institute on Aging, 2011). Depression frequently becomes apparent in relation to other serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Suicide in older adults can be linked physical illness, chronic pain, death of a loved one, fear of becoming a financial or physical...

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