The population in Australia is ageing (ref) mirroring trends internationally (refs). The implications of an ageing population take in the capacity of the health care workforce to respond appropriately to the specific care needs of older people (ref), including older people with dementia (refs). As a future health care professional, my understandings of ageing and being an older person will significantly shape the care I provide to this patient group (refs). I will thus critically reflect on how my understandings of ageing in Australia have developed since my initial reflections in week 1 of
Perspectives on Ageing. Implicit in this, are my understandings of the role of the interprofessional health care team in meeting the care needs of older people and the interprofessional issues that may arise. In this, I will discuss the interprofessional issues of [state interprofessional issues].
At the commencement of my participation in the Perspectives on Ageing unit, I believed people aged
65 and over had the same needs and concerns as younger people and that being ‘old’ was merely a social construction (refs). However, as the unit progressed, I came to understand that older people have specific health care needs, evident in the prevalence of co-morbidities (refs) and age related cardiac, respiratory, and neurodegenerative diseases (refs) such as dementia. Central to the health care management of older people with such conditions is the multidisciplinary or interprofessional team (refs), something I had not appreciated early on perhaps due to my lack of clinical and/or familial exposure to such circumstances.
While interprofessional collaboration has been recognised as constituting best