We may readily admit that there is a “bias” or “negative attitude” towards older adults in our health care systems. This can be seen in assuming that a 90 year old should not have an organ transplant to putting adult diapers (depends) on a 70 year old. What may surprise you, is that ageism is in the Christian church! One such example is the divide over types of worship music during Sunday service. One church’s solution was to have separate rooms for the worship–one room was the traditional hymns, while the other main service had the “christian rock” style of worship. I am sure it wasn’t intended, but the segregation of music brought ageism front and center to the body of Christ. There are and always will be the challenges of reaching the next generation for Christ, while embracing the wisdom and experience of our older brothers and sisters.
An important part of this balance is for nurses, who represent Christ to our profession and to the older adults in our church communities. Scripture is filled with examples of honor, respect, and dignity for seniors in the Kingdom.
Read the article in Journal of Christian Nursing and explore the various references used as citations. We will not only avoid ageism, but we then can encourage and educate our fellow colleagues and parishioners in caring for senior saints across their entire lifespan!