Are we still an ageist society in Ireland and are our health care services providing the appropriate health care facilities to our older population?. Ageism is stereotyping and discriminating against an individual person or groups of people on the basis of their age. This can occur throughout all phases of life, from childhood to old age. These ideas and attitudes occur from a social construction anomaly of ageism, Scott & Marshall (2009). Sociology is the study of society in a scientific sociological perspective.
We study sociology to help us understand how society can effect our body and how it impacts our lives. Emile Durheim first came up with the theoretical analysis of functionalism or also known as structural functionism. His notion of functionalism was how social structures and functions mould people into society. This derived from his study of suicide in 1952 when he established that suicide what not just an individual act but also a consequence from society.
The TILDA report, examined the older people in the general population and presently there are 460,00 in the general population over the age of 65 living in Ireland, Kearney et al (2011). This is due to the demographic changes over the years with fewer births and people living longer lives. Older people can become victims of neglect and loneliness especially women as, mentioned by (Cleary & Treacy, 1997) it is more likely for older women to be lonely as men die earlier.
The supplemental study (McCarron et al , 2011), reported that 753 people with intellectual disability (ID) over 40 years old represented 8.9% of the (ID) population in the study. number is growing rapidly and with this it brings challenges for nurses, services and policy providers in Ireland. Although there are challenges, policy makers see the increasing number of older people as an ' added burden ' creating an ageist response, stated by, martin et al (2009) as cited by fealy et al (2012).
Family and life phases
The family structure has changed over the years mainly due to a low fertility rate, Canavan (2012). Canavan also mentions in his study that this had a dramatic decreasing effect in family size in Ireland and believed this is mainly due to the changing economy. Years ago families cared for each other and when children grew up they normaly took over the caring role. As parents became old and unable to care for themselves, their children often cared for them themselves.This is no longer always the case as there are fewer children to care for them, work commitments, and emigration. Thus family now predominantly rely upon the health care system for help.
The health service executive (HSE) provides health and social services to all age groups in hospitals, health facilities, and communities in Ireland, HSE (2013). Throughout our lives we go through different ages, sociologicaly this is known as life phases. There are four life phases we...