The media’s portrayal of vulnerable elder people as ‘perpetrators of assaults’ shows us just how far we still have to go.
Dr James Woods is a registrar in Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine in South East Scotland. He tweets at @jmwoods87
Earlier this week BBC Radio 5 Live ran a piece with corresponding BBC website article reporting on figures obtained from an NHS Protect report on physical assaults against NHS staff in England. The headline and corresponding analysis focused on patients over 75 years old as the most frequent ‘perpetrators of assaults’ against NHS staff. If you care about the healthcare needs of older people and want to see them treated with dignity and respect (which if you are reading this blog you probably do) then this makes for distressing reading.
Emotive language does these vulnerable people a huge disservice. Not only are they referred to as ‘perpetrators of abuse’ (a hugely pejorative title) in the headline but their actions were repeatedly described as ‘lashing out.’ (more…)