Reducing ageism in the health workforce

Researcher: Samantha Heath

Promoting healthy ageing and improving access to services for older adults is a fundamental part of the Government’s Better Later Life (2019-2034) Strategy. Nurses are integral to its success because they are uniquely situated at the forefront of healthcare, positively impacting quality of life through service coordination. However, our recently completed research has shown that societal ageism is reflected in the perspectives of our future health professionals. It’s a problem because ageism can be another form of discrimination, and it’s only likely to get bigger because we have a rapidly ageing population.

We’re working with a team of researchers to find the best ways we can teach our students to increase their empathy skills and reduce ageism right from the start, so that the future nursing workforce is well-equipped to show leadership in clinical practice and policy development for older adults in the future.