Disparity in Healthcare?

Challenging Assumptions

Seniors are often seen as individuals who are slowing down physically and mentally and cognitively.  However, as a bank manager recently discovered, assumptions can be misguided, inaccurate and downright wrong. Below is a portion of the letter that an 86-year old woman wrote the bank manager after a cheque she had written  bounced.

“Dear Sir: I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, 3 nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it..
I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only 8 years.
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, — when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become….”

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We Know the Senior Population, Right?

When one hears the word seniors, oft time images arise in one’s mind of someone who is frail, bent over due to osteoporosis, listless and lethargic, confused and lacking in mobility. Not surprisingly, such assumptions and stereotypes affect how we see and treat seniors.

Recognizing this, Michelle Gibson, a professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, challenges her first-year medical students’ assumptions of seniors and geriatric medicine through the use of You Tube videos. According to Gibson, “All the videos are of “regular” seniors- not famous folk, by design. I will only show videos where seniors are treated like adults, with respect. (This means there are many news interviews I won’t use, sadly, because they often have a patronizing ‘yes dear’ tone to them that I can’t stand.)”

Below is one of the video Gibson uses in her class.

Click here to read Gibson’s article and watch some more of her videos.