Docs Should Respect Seniors
If you've ever felt belittled by a healthcare provider who made ageist remarks or otherwise treated you like the proverbial little old lady, help may be at hand. The Gerontological Society of America has released 40 pages of guidelines for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, biologists, psychologists, social workers, caregivers, economists, and health policy experts entitled "Communicating With Older Adults: An Evidence-Based Review of What Really Works."
A release from the society quotes Jake Harwood, PhD, head of the Advisory Board that crafted the guidelines, as saying, “The report is based in the scientific literature, yet the contributors created something extremely accessible. It covers the full range of communication issues experienced by older adults and health care providers, and gives concrete suggestions for dealing with problems when they arise.” The release says that "care providers are encouraged to avoid speech that might be seen as patronizing to an older person, verify listener comprehension during a conversation, and pay close attention to sentence structure when conveying critical information."