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 …

Poliomyelitis epidemics in Western Australia

The COVID-19 pandemic devastates the world in 2020. Many other serious illnesses have swept different countries through the centuries. For example, Poliomyelitis epidemics affected much of the the world between 1938 and 1954. Several of these epidemics occurred in Western Australia.

Labelled mentally ill

I can’t imagine anything worse than to be diagnosed and labelled mentally ill. To be diagnosed with a mental illness in our society means almost certainly to be sentenced to a life of stigma. A few years ago, I had a narrow escape. The circumstances of my life changed – dramatically. In spite of my …

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 …

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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