Ageism as a Problem in Nursing

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 838
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Bachelor


It is important to note that ageism is a negative way of thinking or believing about the process of growing old or about elderly people. The sentiments and ideas of society regarding aging are culturally established and can have a significant impact on how individuals see themselves and others who are aging. Unfortunately, negative beliefs about aging remain widespread. These pernicious preconceptions affect healthcare workers as well.

Statement of the Problem

The problem is the lack of culturally competent and sensitive training for healthcare personnel when caring for elderly patients. This analysis examines many ageism stereotypes in society and the healthcare industry. The goal is to show how ageism can harm healthcare personnel’s professional training and service delivery and their customers’ behavior and health outcomes. Stereotyping can influence the structure and content of interventions for the elderly.


The PICOT question: Among the older adult patient group (P), how does training on ageism (I) compared to standard measures (C) lead to a reduction in age-based stereotyping and discrimination (O) within a year post-implementation?

Background on the Topic

Traditionally, aging has been considered a never-ending deterioration, and the stereotype leads to systemic discrimination against elderly persons, who are regularly denied equality. It was revealed that older persons were frequently depicted unfavorably in his analysis of humor’s views regarding aging (Nagaratnam et al., 2018). Physical and mental impairments, as well as declines in sexual vigor, were frequently emphasized in the comedy. Aging people are more likely to become physically and cognitively challenged (Nagaratnam et al., 2018). Although physiological changes are a regular aspect of aging, data suggests that many standard disease processes can be regulated and avoided (Sao et al., 2019). Carbohydrate metabolism, osteoporosis, cholesterol levels, diabetes, blood pressure, respiratory function, and hydration are all affected by exercise and nutrition (Hu et al., 2021). Thus, aging is a natural process that can be greatly minimized in its impairments by effective interventions, which leaves no basis for ageism.

Nurses are directly responsible for providing care for elderly patients, and any harmful attitude towards them can hinder their performance. The research discovered a link between nurses’ attitudes toward elderly patients and their quality of interaction and care (Sao et al., 2019). The nurses’ discussions with older patients can become brief, extra shallow, and task-oriented as their attitudes shift towards ageism. Ageist nurses are more likely to use a condescending tone while speaking to senior patients, and the negative sentiments about elderly patients were reflected in their common rehab objectives and disconnected handling of the patients (Sao et al., 2019). An upgraded comprehensive review of research discovered a consistent reduction in favorable to more ambiguous sentiments about elderly persons among nursing students over time (Hu et al., 2021). The nurses used derogatory slang and unacceptably raised their voices to show disrespect.

Significance to the Nursing Profession

The ageism research can clarify the challenges the elderly face and open up insights toward better nursing care for this group. The intervention developed to counter ageism among the youth, nurses, and other groups appears in three steps, such as education, intergenerational competence, and training (Burnes et al., 2019). These interventions can highlight the nurses’ appropriate interventions toward positive caregiving and patient outcomes. Such research encourages curiosity about new equipment and insurance benefits for the elderly that would allow better care. All the wisdom gained from the research can help nurses view aging from a different perspective and lead to improved patient care. To the aging nurses, other benefits such as better pay and hydraulic equipment near patient beds will make work easier. Higher salaries for those providing care for the elderly, mental care, and continuous learning will ensure these nurses are motivated and in a positive mental state to serve the elderly. The witnessed problem can lead to better practice by harnessing cultural sensitivity and inclusion among nurses, which will have the ‘spillover effect’ to create a better attitude towards other disadvantaged groups, such as LGBT or ethnic minorities.


Among the ideas I would implement toward improving patient outcomes amongst the elderly would be additional geriatrics staff training would be one step. Use proper screening and preventive measures for older persons, providing elderly patients with life-sustaining therapies and procedures. Treating all complaints of discomfort or other signs seriously and adopting an inquisitive mindset until health problems are alleviated or eliminated (Sao et al., 2019). Patient outcomes result from empathy, understanding, and knowledge of that subject. One of the main techniques I would use is to propose the management containing all the details of my research. This proposal will entail the problem, the contributing factors, and the possible solutions. Given a chance, I would present the topic to receive their view regarding this matter. Ageism is a problem in the nursing field of practice, and the stereotyping of the elderly sees adverse patient outcomes, but research and education can change how nurses handle their elderly patients. My implementation of the interventions mentioned earlier, being evidence-based, would ensure proper care and mindset toward the aging process.


Burnes, D., Sheppard, C., Henderson, C. R., Wassel, M., Cope, R., Barber, C., & Pillemer, K. (2019). Interventions to reduce ageism against older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal Of Public Health, 109(8), 1-9. Web.

Hu, R. X., Luo, M., Zhang, A., & Li, L. W. (2021). Associations of ageism and health: A systematic review of quantitative observational studies. Research on Aging, 43(7–8), 311–322. Web.

Nagaratnam, N., Nagaratnam, K, & Cheuk, G. (2018). Geriatric diseases: Evaluation and management. Springer.

Sao, J. M. S. S., Amado, C. A. F., Ilinca, S. Buttigieg, S. C., & Larsson, A. T. (2019). Ageism in health care: A systematic review of operational definitions and inductive conceptualizations. The Gerontologist, 59(2), 98-108. Web.