Ageism and over-prescribing

Ageism, like sexism, knows no boundaries. The health system is a prime example of ageism in action. This week an article in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Insight online caught my eye. (‘Polypharmacy a shared duty’, by Charlotte Mitchell.) The article quotes a recent study in Queensland and Victoria. Subjects were 1220 people over 70. …

Karen Hitchcock – On Caring for the Elderly

Karen Hitchcock’s essay Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly is compassionate, respectful and beautifully written. As a study of ageism in our society, it is also seriously scary. The author is a physician who works in a major Melbourne hospital. Her patients are mostly elderly. She has a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Writing and is …

Dementia and selective memory in fiction

There are many causes of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. In Australia, more than 332,000 people currently suffer from Alzheimer’s alone. As the population ages, the incidence of dementia also is expected to increase. As a person’s symptoms of dementia increase, more and more short-term memory is lost. The person will live much more in the …

Coming soon

Relationships Australia WA offers a new workshop which I think may have particular interest for older men and women. The facilitator is my friend, Elizabeth Brennan, a remarkable older woman with many years experience as a relationships educator and facilitator of groups of many different types. Details of the workshop are as follows: CHANGE AND …

Launch of new protocol

Last week, around a hundred professionals whose work involves older people and their well-being attended a launch of a document, Elder Abuse Protocol: Guidelines for Action. The event was hosted by Advocare Inc., the lead agency of the Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse:WA* (APEA:WA) at the Leadership Centre of the Australian Institute of Management. As the inaugural …

Ageing and advocacy

Twice during the last week I’ve been reminded sharply about the importance of advocacy in the lives of older people.Advocacy is a simple concept: it means standing by another person who needs support to confront a more powerful person or institution. The more vulnerable a person, the more he or she may need an advocate to address neglect, bullying or …

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