I don't pretend to have all the answers and we know that it has taken society a generation to change attitudes to sexual equality, tolerance of same sex relationships, race or disability. I grew up in the seventies and remember the kind of language and attitudes that no-one would find acceptable now. Legislation is but one part of the solution but if we think about the impact of making seatbelts compulsory or stricter laws on drink driving or banning smoking in pubs, it can help. But when it comes to attitudes and behaviours from health and social care professionals, i think we need to select for the right values, make sure that throughout their training, doctors, nurses, social workers and others are regularly working with older people, that we have older people and their carers helping this training by speaking from their experience (and also by providing examples of older people who are not ill or dependent to talk about their lives) . We also need to make sure that at both pre-registration training and ongoing higher training, what we teach people in those professions adequately reflects the fact that for most of them caring for very old people will be a key part of their job and so should have the right competencies to help the people they will actually be looking after. And we have to ensure that the things people or institutions are measured on delivering reflect adequately what matters to older people and their carers. Most of all though we need to remember at all times that older people - even those with severe dementia or disability are someone's friend or relative, with a lifestory, needs, likes, dislikes, wishes of their own and people who have contributed to society throughout their lives. And treat them with the same respect with which we would want to be treated in our own older age. I strongly recommend three documents on this. 1. The Kings Fund Document Care of Older People Leeds Castle Summit report (referenced in my blog). 2. The Age UK/NHS Confed "delivering dignity" commission 3. Win Tadd's excellent paper "dignity in practice". There is also a great paper from Age UK/Peninsula Medical School called "healthcare for healthy active ageing". I am off to the national pensioners' convention next week (my fourth trip) to speak about these issues at the Winter Gardens - always one of my favourite speaking engagements. Anyone who thinks of older people as passive, unopinionated, recipients of services, should go and meet them. One pitch i would make though - the media have a lot to answer for - constantly representing older people either as elite skydiving grannies or as victims of abuse and neglect with no balanced realistic representation, and use of phrases such as "the elderly" and a fixation with youth. All of this feeds into the negative stereotyping and condescending attitudes. I am 48 so i want it sorted before i am eligible to be a delegate in Blackpool myself. David
The admission says she should be urgently be put on gastro enterology.
She was put on a geriatric ward and left in agony begging for help for three months until she died of a ruptured colon. The doctor asked her what she wanted him to do.
I cannot begin to describe the effect on myself but I refuse to go into an NHS hospital ever. I will rather die at home.
My Mother was an otherwise healthy woman living alone and out every day enjoying life. Out shopping the day she entered the hospital with a temperature of 40.
No doctor should have the right to treat a human being in this way. I believe that Mother was about four stone when she died from not being able to eat. In agony her dignity was stripped from her in every way while they wrote on a wall chart how near to death she was.
There is much more but I am finding it very difficult to write.
Is this what she paid the NHS for her whole life?
Thank for highlighting this issue which is an on-going. This has helped me as I'm currently writing a report for BTEC Health and Social Care on Discrimination, the effects of Discrimination and how to prevent Discrimination.