Blimey! The British Medical Journal reports on a study indicting the system of caring for eldelry people in UK hospitals. The title tells it all: “Half of English hospitals fail to meet basic standards on care for older people” (no link, BMJ 2011;343:doi:10.1136/bmj.d6645, Published 13 October 2011):
More than half of England’s hospitals are falling short in providing basic care to older people, the Care Quality Commission has found. A damning report on the care of older people in acute trusts found what chair of the commission Dame Jo Williams said was “truly alarming and deeply disappointing.” It found that too many hospital staff fail to ensure that older patients eat and drink properly, do not respect their dignity, and talk to them in a condescending manner. In the highly critical report the commission concluded that more than half of all hospitals in England were not meeting key standards for dignity and nutrition in older people. The watchdog carried out unannounced visits at 100 hospitals to assess dignity and nutrition standards and identified concerns in 55 cases.
Of course, this isn’t just a problem with the NHS or in the UK. Devaluing and denigrating the elderly is epidemic throughout much of the West. As such, it is a scandal against human excetionalism