What can you expect at your age?
Ageism in health care project by the Older Women’s Network NSW (OWN NSW) and Health Consumers NSW (HCNSW)
In 2017, research released by the EveryAGE Counts campaign demonstrated that health care settings were the second most likely of places mentioned by older people in Australia reporting experiences of ageism. Combined with a rapidly ageing population over the next decades, OWN and HCNSW decided to partner to further investigate the issue of ageism in the health care sector in NSW.
The project has its genesis in anecdotal evidence from the many members of HCNSW and OWN NSW, about instances of ageism they experienced in their dealings with the health care sector.
A survey and in-depth interviews to determine how ageism is experienced by older people today and, what impact it has on them afterwards, let to our Ageism in health care report, launched at the Shifting Gears Summit in March 2021 and a briefing workshop in April 2021.
“… they ignore everything I was saying.”
“I have given up going to doctors completely.”
Our report “What Can You Expect at Your Age?!” – an investigation of recent experiences of age discrimination by older adults accessing health care shines a light on the experiences and points of view of older Australians using health care services in NSW and Australia.
Older Australians experience ageism in the health care system when they are negatively stereotyped as being ‘too old’, ‘bed blockers’ or a ‘waste of resources’. Attitudes such as these, from health practitioners and administrators, who may or may not be aware of their prejudices against older adults, influence their diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
This report makes a credible addition to a vast body of research and knowledge about ageism, how it corrodes older adults’ rights and affects their capacity for living a full and joyful life. We hope the report provides a platform for education, training and policy reform into the future.
The briefing workshop video recording
During this webinar on 23 April 2021, we discussed the important issue of how ageism impacts the delivery of health care. Watch the lively discussion now.
The launch video