As the aging population of the United States continues to grow, patients and caregivers are coming face-to-face with a widespread but largely overlooked problem. Medical ageism, as Mark S. Lachs, M.D., M.P.H., explains in his new book, Treat Me, Not My Age, often results in a patient's ailments going untreated or being overtreated. Because their symptoms are dismissed as "just part of getting older," such discrimination of the elderly extends throughout the healthcare system, from hospitals and nursing homes to insurance companies, disproportionately affecting the quality of life for elderly patients.
As Dr. Lachs explains in Treat Me, Not My Age – it doesn't have to be that way. With insight gained from more than two decades working one-on-one with patients, guiding family caregivers through difficult care decisions and navigating the trenches of medical administration, the author provides in-depth advice on the healthcare process, from choosing a physician and managing prescriptions to handling transitions between care facilities and outfitting the home for specific medical needs. Published this month by Viking Penguin, Treat Me, Not My Age is a comprehensive guide to avoiding the medical pitfalls that can be most harmful and receiving the highest-quality care.
Both a practicing physician and a highly regarded researcher, Mark S. Lachs, M.D., M.P.H., is the Irene F. and I. Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine and Co-Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and an Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. In addition to his clinical and teaching activities, he conducts important research on the biomedical and psychosocial aspects of aging. He is a sought-after speaker for both lay and professional audiences on topics including elder abuse and neglect, quality of life in aging, the older cancer patient, medical ethics, and the financing of healthcare. He advises national and international agencies including the Institute of Medicine, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization and has testified before Congress and local legislatures on matters related to aging and elder abuse. Dr. Lachs is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including an American College of Physicians Teaching and Research Scholarship, a National Institute on Aging Academic Leadership Award and a Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholarship.