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In the framework of my nursing education and practical experiences, this reflective essay discusses my changing viewpoint on aging and ageism. I will also discuss the "You Can't Ask That" episode on aging, stressing the wide range of aging experiences and the persistence of ageism, especially in the healthcare industry. I will discuss the effects of ageism on people's attitudes and healthcare practices in the using reflective model including "So What?" section, emphasising the significance of dispelling my personal and peer fellow myths and advancing the welfare of senior citizens. I will propose methods for overcoming ageism in the "Now What?" section, including self-examination, education, meaningful contacts, activism, and the importance of person-centred care. My efforts to establish a society that recognises and respects its senior people will be guided by these approaches.


I sincerely think that older people must be treated with respect and empathy while still being respected and cherished. We must recognise and value the fact that they have a lot of life knowledge and wisdom to contribute. However, I have found that some of my classmates have made comments that adhere to ageist prejudices, such as presuming that older people are weak, technologically illiterate, or unable to pick up new skills. Even though I do not hold these views, witnessing them from others raises alarm. Like everyone else, older people have different psychological, emotional, physical, and social requirements, and we should treat them accordingly. I had a fundamental grasp of managing older people before I began my nursing training, but my opinions have dramatically changed.

I now have a stronger understanding of the intricate nature of aging and the significance of person-centred care because of my education and clinical experiences. I have realised how important it is to evaluate each older person holistically, considering their mental and physical wellness, emotional needs, and peer support network. I am aware, nevertheless, that I still have certain knowledge gaps to fill. I want to keep learning more about the health issues that older people face, including geriatric syndromes, chronic illnesses, and cognitive impairments. Aside from that, I would like to investigate new ideas for enhancing older individuals' quality of life, such as utilising technology to increase their independence and well-being.

So What?

My peers and I had a range of feelings in response to the "You Can't Ask That" episode's questions about becoming older. Some of the questions got us thinking about how ageism permeates our culture, especially in the healthcare industry. I was able to identify with the difficulties they faced and their will to persevere in the face of hardship because of the episode's representation of older people expressing their opinions and experiences. I felt a strong connection to the older participants' comments. I was reminded of the significant effect such events can have on elderly people when one of them said, "The toughest year that I ever had in my life," pointing to the loss of loved ones. These quotes are provided as a timely reminder that growing older is a complex experience that can bring on a range of feelings, including happiness and fulfilment, as well as grief and loss.

Perceptions concerning aging and older persons are influenced by several things, such as individual experiences, portrayals in the media, and cultural standards (Makita et al., 2021). I have noticed how the media frequently upholds stereotypes, painting older people as helpless or cumbersome, which might support ageist ideas. The value of older persons in society may also be diminished as a result of cultural norms that place a premium on youth and productivity (Rothermund et al., 2021). All of these factors have, in turn, impacted my perspective and highlighted the significance of combating ageism. As a member of the medical community, I am aware that ageist attitudes can affect how older patients are treated. Poor care might emerge from the belief that an elderly person's preferences or interests are constrained by their advanced age (Bridges et al., 2020). To lessen this, I work to deliver person-centred care that honours each person's autonomy and particular needs.

Now What?

Firstly, self-reflection will be a regular practice. According to a study by Hammouri et al. (2022) self-awareness is essential for overcoming ageism. I will actively attempt to replace my prejudices and preconceived notions about aging with positive attitudes by periodically examining them. The foundation of my strategy is education and training. More patient-centred care is given by healthcare workers who have a greater grasp of aging (Adja et al., 2020). I will thus look for educational possibilities in gerontology and ageism understanding to expand my understanding of the aging process and the special requirements of older people.

Moreover, ageist preconceptions can be contested through meaningful interactions and attentive listening (Schrimpf Davis et al., 2021). I will gain a wider perspective by listening to their stories and engaging with their experiences. Another essential element is advocacy. According to a study by Banerjee et al. (2021) advocacy activities can increase awareness and fight ageism. I will speak out against discriminatory actions and aggressively raise awareness of ageism in my professional and social groups. Lastly, person-centred care and empowerment techniques are crucial in the healthcare industry. Elderly patients will feel valued, heard, and strengthened if they receive individualised care, participate in decision-making, and have their requirements taken into account when creating care plans (Phelan et al., 2020).


In conclusion, it has been a transformative experience for me to go from identifying ageist prejudices to actively combating them and fighting for the respect and welfare of senior citizens. I have learnt the value of comprehensive, person-centred care via my nursing education, and I am dedicated to filling up my knowledge gaps and developing further in this field. The "You Can't Ask That" aging episode confirmed the variety of aging perspectives and emphasised ageism's pervasive influence in our society, especially in the healthcare industry. I aim to be respectful and patient when interacting with older people, and I will empower them to make their own decisions. I also wish to help create a society that honours and respects its senior citizens and acknowledges their unique contributions and needs.


Adja, K. Y. C., Lenzi, J., Sezgin, D., O'Caoimh, R., Morini, M., Damiani, G., & Fantini, M. P. (2020). The importance of taking a patient-centered, community-based approach to preventing and managing frailty: A public health perspective. Frontiers in Public Health , 599170. 

Banerjee, D., Rabheru, K., de Mendonca Lima, C. A., & Ivbijaro, G. (2021). Role of dignity in mental healthcare: Impact on ageism and human rights of older persons. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 29 (10), 1000-1008. 

Bridges, J., Collins, P., Flatley, M., Hope, J., & Young, A. (2020). Older people's experiences in acute care settings: Systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies. International Journal of Nursing Studies 102 , 103469.

Hammouri, A., Taani, M. H., & Ellis, J. (2022). Ageism in the Nursing Care of Older Adults: A Concept Analysis. Advances in Nursing Science , 10-1097. 

Makita, M., Mas-Bleda, A., Stuart, E., & Thelwall, M. (2021). Ageing, old age and older adults: A social media analysis of dominant topics and discourses. Ageing & Society 41 (2), 247-272. 

Phelan, A., McCormack, B., Dewing, J., Brown, D., Cardiff, S., Cook, N. F., & Van Lieshout, F. (2020). Review of developments in person-centred healthcare. International Practice Development Journal, 10 (3).

Rothermund, K., Klusmann, V., & Zacher, H. (2021). Age discrimination in the context of motivation and healthy aging. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B 76 (Supplement_2), S167-S180.

Schrimpf Davis, S., Regan, S., Goodnow, K., Gausvik, C., Pallerla, H., & Schlaudecker, J. D. (2021). Tell me your story: Experiential learning using in‐home interviews of healthy older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 69 (12), 3608-3616. 

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