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Main arrow Archive of previous Issues arrow ╣4 2014 (38) arrow Discrimination of the older age groups of population in terms of medical care and social security: empirical analysis
Discrimination of the older age groups of population in terms of medical care and social security: empirical analysis Print
Monday, 01 September 2014

Gorelik S.G., Kolpina L.V.
Belgorod State National Research Universityö, Belgorod, Russia

Abstract. The article analyzed phenomenon of ageism regarding healthcare and social protection on the basis of sociological survey (questionnaire). The empirical study base was represented by medical staff (physicians and nurses) and social workers of Belgorod region who deal with elderly (N=207 respondents).

The aim of the study was to conduct screening of manifestations and factors of ageism in everyday work of medical and social workers.

Analysis of ageismĺ reasons included three groups of factors: institutional, sociocultural and personal.

The study data showed high prevalence of ageism in the spheres of medical care and social protection. This was mentioned by 65% respondents, and 42.2% respondents confessed that they themselves initiate ageism practices.

Preconditions for gerontology ageism in work of medical and social workers are the following: their attitude about ôeconomic inexpediencyö of working with the elderly, belief in the necessity of high emotional involvement into the problems of this age group, low gerontology competence as well as negative experience of interacting with the elderly in everyday work and self fears of becoming old.

We detected several relationships pointing at correlation between attitude of workers of abovementioned spheres to the old age and manifestation of ageism in their professional activity.

It was proved that discussion of ageism in the course of work of the medical and social workers is associated with certain moral, ethical and psychological difficulties. The last manifest in the form of protective psychological mechanisms (transfer, suppression, compensation, attribution of ageism reasons to external circumstances) which complicates constructive dialogue on the topic.

Solution of the problem of gerontology ageism should be made through, first, education in psychology of ageing for specialists working with the elderly; second, development in society the culture of ageing and attitude to the elderly; open society discussion of the topic allowing its actualization in public conscience and scientific discourse.

The study results could be used in the work of medical and social protection facilities with the aim of quality improvement of work with the elderly

Key words: ageism, the elderly, social workers, medical workers, questionnaire.


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