Friday, November 5, 2021

Age Bias by Health Care Professionals: Part 2.

Following the Kaiser Health News article (also in the Wall Street Journal), ‘They Treat Me Like I’m Old and Stupid’: Seniors Decry Health Providers’ Age Bias, Kaiser followed up with a webinar, Confronting Ageism in Health Care: A Conversation for Patients, Caregivers and Clinicians.

Ageism is not new, but the covid pandemic brought it shockingly into view. In its early days, the virus was shrugged off as something of concern mostly to older people, with some arguing they were expendable if the alternative was shutting down the economy. In the grave months that followed, many who died in nursing care were dehumanized in news reports that showed body bags piled outside facilities. To date, about 80% of those who have died of covid-19 have been older adults, including nearly 140,000 nursing home residents — a population beset by understaffing, inadequate infection control and neglect.

The panel included four doctors and an attorney who is the executive director of the Maine Council on Aging (it has an anti-ageism pledge.)  The video can be viewed here.

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