The aging of the US population demands that healthcare delivery systems and providers develop expertise in the care of older adults. Yet, our ageist beliefs shape how we approach their health needs and affect the outcomes of care, particularly for older patients with HIV or with oral health needs. This session will focus on health equity in healthcare and will share tools to recognize and reduce inequities so that all older patients are treated with dignity and respect.
As seen through the lens of older people with HIV and those with oral health needs, this session is designed to engage participants in exploring their own beliefs about aging and to propose solutions that providers and health systems can employ to recognize and reduce inequities in care that stem from deeply held stereotypes and biases. Using polls, videos, graphics, and examples, the facilitators will assist participants in identifying areas where they can develop a better understanding of how ageist beliefs impact care for these groups of patients and identify where they can begin to modify their beliefs, language, and approach. Using evidence-based elements from innovative models such as the Reframing Aging Initiative, this session will share tools and techniques that foster equitable, inclusive care and support better outcomes for older adults. The tools shared in the session will provide a platform for participants to share with colleagues and enable them to take steps at a personal, organizational, and societal level to create meaningful change.
Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:
1. Define ageism and its root causes and discuss how ageist beliefs translate into inequitable healthcare practices.
2. Identify at least 3 examples of how ageism is expressed in the delivery of care to older people with HIV and those with oral health needs.
3. Identify strategies that providers can employ to decrease ageism and improve equitable healthcare for older people.
Mary Lou Ciolfi, JD, MS
Senior Program Manager
UMaine Center on Aging
Margaret Franckhauser, MS, MPH, RN
Director Aging Services
JSI New Hampshire Office/Community Health Institute
Check out the topic pages, Older People and HIV and Oral Health and HIV, from NEAETC's online HIV Resource Library.