Sunday, 21 April 2024
    Call for aged care training on ageism
    Aged Care,

    Call for aged care training on ageism

    Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner has called on organisations providing services to older people to deliver ageism awareness training to their staff, with new research showing it can be highly effective in shifting attitudes.

    The Australian Human Rights Commission surveyed aged care and community workers before and after undertaking a training session, which covered several topics relating to ageism.

    A follow-up survey conducted 2–3 months after participants attended a single, 2.5-hour session, found that 90% had rethought the way they communicate with older people. 87% had discussed ageism with others, 86% actively considered actions they could take to address ageist attitudes in their workplace, and 82% reconsidered their attitudes towards ageing.

    Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, said it was powerful evidence that governments and industry could, and should, take action to tackle ageist attitudes in the community.

    “Ageism is one of the most pervasive and tolerated forms of prejudice in Australia, but this research confirms my long-held belief that it’s also one of the easiest to shift,” she said.

    “Ageism can have serious consequences for older people’s health and wellbeing. Studies have linked those who experience or internalise ageist attitudes with shorter lifespans, reduced quality of life, and physical and mental health conditions.

    “Prior to the training, the aged care and community workers did not have explicitly negative views of older people, but they did endorse more subtle ageist beliefs, for example perceiving older people as being in need of assistance and experiencing physical and cognitive decline. Though they may be well-intentioned, such attitudes can lead to patronising and paternalistic treatment of older adults.


    New research prompts call for aged care to embrace training on ageism (Australian Human Rights Commission)


    Changing perspectives: testing an ageism intervention (Australian Human Rights Commission)