Health complications tend to become more frequent as individuals become older. Aging people have more functional impairments and clinical symptoms signs. They experience several medical conditions at the same time leading to the need to collect data separately from the other age groups. Institutional residency has also become a norm among older people as they seek specialized care and treatment (Milani & Lavie, 2015). It is necessary to provide the necessary education to nurses to make it possible for them to deal effectively with an aging population. As such, the increased aging population has a major effect on nursing education.
Professional responsibility and accountability towards older people have been a major issue in nursing practice (Rowe & Kahn, 2015). Nursing for aging people should foster maximum independence levels and at the same time consider the individual's limitations and functional abilities. This will help to ensure maintenance of comfort and safety for the aging people. Research shows that most aging people are forced to take part in activities that they are not comfortable with despite their reluctance to do so. It is common to have older people with impaired judgment but the problem does not cut across the board. Some nurses may consider this to be common for all older people hence disregarding the fact that some of them are perfectly able to make clear judgments. Such actions are contrary to the professional responsibility and accountability standards for aging people. They need to be treated with keen consideration of the health condition that they are in.
Knowledge-based practice is important when caring for older people (Rowe & Kahn, 2015). Nurses need to apply the best judgment, skills, and knowledge in nursing practice relating to aging people. This means that we should ensure that all the nurses are adequate qualified with specialized skills to take care of aging people. An understanding between the nurse and the individual patient is crucial in keeping them healthy. The nurse needs to understand the specific needs of each patient they are tasked with and how to deal with problems when they arise. Lack of understanding between the nurse and an elderly patient can lead to reluctance by the patient to disclose all the information necessary for treatment in addition to stress. A qualified nurse will develop and communicate health care plans that comprise important decisions, assessment data, planned interventions, and outcomes of the care provided to the patient. Therefore, knowledge-based practice is, by all means, an important aspect of dealing with an aging population.
Provision of health services that are client-focused is necessary when dealing with aging people (Rowe & Kahn, 2015). The nurse should communicate collaborate, and consult with the client and team members concerning the aging person's health care needs. Such an action is important for purposes for maintaining a healthy relationship between the client and the team members. In effect, the healthy relationship will make it easier for the aging client to express himself/herself about their health. Any of the nurses should report inappropriate treatment of the client to the appropriate body or person for necessary action to be taken. This is because aging people are sometimes deemed unable to defend themselves when they are mistreated by nurses. Finally, patient education should make it easier for aging people to access health care services and learn aspects of the health care system.
Nursing education should equip the nurses with the ability to understand, promote, and uphold ethical standards when dealing with older people (Rowe & Kahn, 2015). Any nurse tasked with the provision of health care to an aging person has to make the individual the primary focus of provision of nursing care. The nurse should exhibit integrity and honesty in dealing with the client. This means that he will tell the truth in every matter concerning the care provided to the patient. Additionally, nurses have to help aging patients in the identification of ethical issues, consultation of with the relevant body or person, taking preventive actions, and evaluation of actions that are the most effective when it comes to their health needs. Therefore, it is evident that nursing education gives nurses the ability to understand, promote, and uphold ethical standards.
There are numerous strategies to reduce the negative effects of an aging population. The most important of them all is to stay active (Milani & Lavie, 2015). Among the major health concerns that aging people experience are memory glitches, weak bones, reduced muscle mass, and fading eyesight. In old age, we become half as strong as we are when we are young. Fitness exercises are the best solution to reduce the impacts of aging on our minds and bodies. As little as 30 minutes of fitness exercise per day can have a significant increase in the lifespan of an aging person. By the year 2030, a fifth of the U.S. population will be more than 65 years old. Nurses can help improve the health of these people by showing them the most impactful exercises they can partake in. It is crucial to have an aging population with healthy lifestyles as this will put less pressure on institutions for the elderly.
Additionally, weightlifting can be an important strategy to improve the health of aging people (Blumenthal et al., 2016). Osteoporosis is a situation whereby the bones become thin. This is a health condition that is common with aging people. However, such situations can be made better by taking part in weight-bearing fitness exercises for a few minutes every day. Such exercises force the body to endure the effects of gravity. They also aid in muscle-building, which effectively puts more pressure on the bones leading to stronger and denser bones. Some of the weight-bearing exercises that nurses encourage older people to partake include stair-climbing, weight-lifting, and walking. These exercises are important for the maintenance of balance, coordination, and a healthy heart.
Overall, it is evident that an increased aging population has a major effect on nursing education. In the next 20 years, a fifth of the population of the U.S. will be more than 65 years old. In that regard, professional responsibility and accountability have to be taken into account when it comes to such patients. The nurses have to take into consideration the individual limitations and functional capabilities of an elderly person during care. Also, the nurses have to be effective in their application of judgment, skills, and knowledge. Elderly people are treated differently from other age groups hence nursing education should provide a special focus on how care is provided. Individuals should stay active and take part in weightlifting despite their age as this will make their bones stronger and reduce the health conditions that come with old age.
Blumenthal, D., Chernof, B., Fulmer, T., Lumpkin, J., & Selberg, J. (2016). Caring for high-need, high-cost patients-an urgent priority. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(10), 909-911.
Milani, R. V., & Lavie, C. J. (2015). Healthcare 2020: reengineering health care delivery to combat chronic disease. The American journal of medicine, 128(4), 337-343.
Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (2015). Successful aging 2.0: Conceptual expansions for the 21st century. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 70(4), 593-596.
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