The Problem of Ageism in Healthcare

Topic: Geriatrics
Words: 293 Pages: 1

The issue of ageism against older adults is presented in the healthcare system throughout different facilities. According to Kilaru and Gee (2020), structural ageism is the cause of many healthcare system issues and could be traced in policies, attitudes, and actions of social institutions. However, the current situation in long-term care facilities is more concerning as Medicaid programs cover nursing care facilities but not community-based services (Kilaru & Gee, 2020). The authors point that in the recent COVID-19 pandemic, more than 40% of fatalities in the US were residents of nursing and long-term care facilities (Kilaru & Gee, 2020). Evidence-based models could improve the overall quality of services and care in nursing homes.

Apart from the structural ageism, the healthcare system and nursing personnel, in particular, are deeply fused with negative ageism shown through poor knowledge and attitude towards older adults. The article by Rababa et al. (2020) provides evidence on the issue of nurses’ negative bias towards older adults, which resulted in mistreatment and insufficient health services. According to the results of research performed by Rababa et al. (2020), among three hundred nurses, more than a half shows negative attitude toward older adults. The authors point that one of the most common reasons for negative ageism is associated with a low level of knowledge about aging (Rababa et al., 2020). The research emphasizes the importance of gerontology in nursing education and shows that the universities need to consider nursing homes as potential sites for clinical training. Addressing this point of view, the evidence-based practice should focus on the nurses’ education on aging. Thus, the implementation of evidence-based practices should be centered on improving the nurses’ knowledge of aging, emphasizing nursing homes personnel to enhance the quality of health services and reduce ageism.


Kilaru, A. S., & Gee, R. E. (2020) Structural ageism and the health of older adults. JAMA Health Forum, 1(10), 1-3. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.1249

Rababa, M., Hammouri, A. M., Hweidi, I. M., & Ellis, J. L. (2020) Association of nurses’ level of knowledge and attitudes to ageism toward older adults: Cross-sectional study. Nursing Health and Sciences, 22(3), 593-601. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12701

Falls Among the Elderly: Preventive Measures
Declines in Functioning Associated with Aging