Ageism in Turkish Health Care System from “Ecological System Approach”

Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2019


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Ageism in Turkish Health Care System from “Ecological System Approach”

Filiz Yildirim and Selim Ürgün



Health care is important for the elderly, as for any individual, to maintain an independent life. However, discrimination against the elderly involved in the health system is a significant obstacle for their needs to be met. Particularly, in the health care system, ageism is not visible unlike other sorts of discrimination; those who make or witness this kind of discrimination may not mostly be aware of this discrimination. Hence, in order to understand the multidimensional dynamics and resources of ageism, it is necessary to evaluate the issue within the environment of the elderly individuals instead of focusing solely on the elderly individuals. Upon examining the literature of discrimination in health care system in Turkey, ageism requires discussion based on interaction of the elderly with their families, caretakers, health care professionals, health care system. In this context, the fact that the elderly applicant or client is approached together with the environmental systems in which s/he lives and within the dynamics of the systems with which s/he has interaction as well as the internal processes of his/her experience of discrimination enables focusing on interaction of elderly individual in the environment from micro to macro.  Starting from such a perspective, the objective of the current review study is to discuss ageism in health care system in Turkey based on ecological system approach.

Keywords: aging; discrimination; elderly, health; social work.