Comments on an article posted by the New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/opinion/sunday/vaccinations-elderly.html?smid=tw-share

 

The article titled ‘Stop treating 70- and 90- year olds the same’ goes on to identify that the healthcare system does not differentiate the type of care needed by a 70 year old or a 90 year old yet the two can be very different and healthcare should recognize that.

My comments:

Reading the article, I found it interesting as to how the aging population may be excluded from its involvement from science and studies, all the while being the largest growing demographic. It definitely exemplifies how society is not person centred rather categorises or lumps groups of people together. I can understand why they are grouped, as policy and delivery of Government, corporate and science programs need to provide coverage of the majority, as individuals it does not make me feel good to be lumped into a group with not much future. This is the point where I have stated before, after being old, is what?…so why would society place resources to this group?…unless there is a way to monetize it!

Having people live longer seems to be a great idea, however offering service to this group and caring for them is a financial drain with little to replenish the pot, yet they remain individuals that have, in one way or another served society the same as you and I.  So it would make sense to continue offering them services that may be unique to their age.

I recently accompanied a senior to a Doctor’s visit – she was diagnosed with cancer and after stating to the Oncologist they have decided not to do chemo – he dropped her like a hot potato… no-next steps, no-well here’s what you can expect or what you could expect to experience. In fact she asked about her dry skin and he said to use lotion, ‘it should be fine’…case closed. The person centred, taking the time to recognize that this is a person with questions, feelings, emotional confusion, need of direction and support was simply not tended to…she was going to die, thanks for coming.

Recently, organizations have recognized the volume of older adults and the potential financial benefit in offering services to them. I’m not saying that is the only motivating factor, however, if it is a business for profit and even not for profit there is a monetary benefit to offering services. Within the business model are people that actual care and want to care but as a whole, many aspects of the senior market often fail in delivering the understanding of an individual. I have met both types of people and organizations, it is quite an evident difference.

If you are of the age 70-90 or 100 for that matter, do you feel you are treated differently?  How?

Thank you

Paul Cutajar

 

 

Images by:
Angelina Litvin

Cristian Newman