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Living with Stigma - Case Study Example

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Living with Stigma

The purpose of this paper is age-related and Mrs. D evidently comes as a gritty person in spite of her age and ailment. She would not be living as an 81-year old otherwise.
Nonetheless, Mrs. D is labeled as an old person, a substance abuser and as a patient. This label separates her from the others and there appears to be bias in her treatment as also the entire approach as a patient. In other words, she is living with the stigma of age.
Mrs. D is a gritty old lady. She has lived life on her terms and is content to continue living on her own terms. It is not mentioned if she is in a nursing home (NH) or in residential care or assisted living (RC-AL). Nonetheless, she is living in some protective environment where visitors are allowed. She is also receiving medical care as a patient.
Mrs. D has visitors. Her daughter visits her once a week. Other friends and relatives may visit periodically without any regular commitment. Due to her age, people who visit do so with some preconceived notion that they feel will be relevant to the aged. This is not just an ordinary visit. It is a visit to a place where people are left to die. It is the place where people come to spend the last days of their lives.
Then there are other inmates and the staff. The inmates and staff perform according to the rules of the institution. The all-pervasive rules are noticeable in the atmosphere. Undoubtedly the place has some means of entertainment such as the television. However, the genuine love and care that is found in familial environment is missing (Becca R. Levy)
The atmosphere is negative due to the label under which Mrs. D and her ilk are made to live. Stigmatization has three interrelated components. First, dominant cultural beliefs link undesirable characteristics to labeled persons. Second, labeled persons are placed in distinct categories so as to separate "them" from "us." Third, the labeled persons experience status loss and discrimination that result in unequal outcomes (Debra Dobbs et al).
Therapeutic Intervention
Mrs. D can continue to lead normal life. This is possible if the younger generation allow Mrs. D to live on her terms. The treatment for osteoporosis and substance abuse can continue on regular basis. The problem is not about treatment but about attitudes. The aged can endure the treatment, but it is difficult to perceive if they can endure the negative attitudes about them.
Undoubtedly, the line of treatment for the aged cannot be the same as that of the younger generation. The psychology, and physiology of the aged change and they require different doses that go along with their diagnosis and symptoms. The digestive system, including the kidneys and liver, slow down with age. There is the need for support when walking. There are cases of dementia. The notion that youngsters have about the aged is not altogether wrong. The aged do need care and they also need to be tended with love and respect. However, the aged can live much of the time alone and can look after themselves with only marginal support of the younger generation (Richard T. Penson). What they need is assistance when required. They can be devastated if there is nobody to lend a hand ...Show more


This paper focuses on Mrs. D, an 81 year old woman who is suffering from osteoporosis and has a history of substance abuse. She is labeled as an old person, a substance abuser and as a patient. Mrs. D has a daughter who visits her once a week and several grandchildren.
Author : chuels
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