Ageism in Medicine: Are Older Patients Creating Their Own Medical Ageism?

healthAgeism & Age-Related Myths Pose Danger to Seniors

When seniors subscribe to the following myths regarding elderly ageism, seeking the medical help they need can suffer. These myths and pitfalls include thoughts such as:

  • “It’s too late to change my lifestyle”
  • “Lifelong damage is irreversible”
  • “This pain is a result of my age”
  • “I don’t trust my doctor”
  • “Modern medicine is for the birds”

Elderly Ageism

There’s no question that elderly ageism exists in the medical field, but, in some cases, the outdated beliefs of older patients is the cause. They may be preventing themselves from receiving necessary medical care.

When older patients assert that their advanced age means that medicine won’t – or can’t – help them, they create their own medical elderly ageism. Seniors make common rationalizations for their problems and dismiss them as mere symptoms of aging. These symptoms include: diminishing mobility and hearing, sleeplessness, and chronic pain. Today, healthcare professional can alleviate or eliminate common ailments allowing older patients to pursue active lifestyles.

Trust in Your Doctor

In some cases, health issues wrongly associated with aging can be symptoms of serious underlying problems. New ailments should always be brought to the attention of your doctor. A new study in the British Journal of Cancer reports that one in five older patients with early symptoms of cancer did not go to their doctor. Unfortunately, this was a result of believing that nothing could be done to help alleviate the issues. Also, they are loath to be “bothering the doctor”. This led to later-stage diagnoses and fewer positive outcomes.

Tackling Elderly Ageism & Age-Related Myths

Age-related myths cannot be further from the truth. People at any age have the resilience and adaptability to make the changes necessary to achieve better health. Both older patients and their healthcare aides need to trust in the benefits of treatments, preventive plans, and recovery options.

David York Agency professionals are trained to recognize symptoms that require medical attention. They also provide the encouragement to help their patients overcome lifelong age-related myths. Contact us to discuss the right type of care plan for you or your loved one.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.