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Geriatric Nursing- Role of Nurse in geriatrics

Geriatric Nursing

is a nursing sub-field which involves caring for older adults.

The standards and scope of geriatric nursing practice were originally developed in 1969 by the American Nurses Association. It was revised in 1976 and again in 1987.

Goals of Geriatric Nursing

  • Promoting and maintaining functional status
  • Helping to use their strengths to achieve optimal independence.
  • Maintain dignity and maximum  autonomy despite physical , social , and psychological losses.
  • Long term care for elderly patients.
  • Use current scientific knowledge to solve clinical problems.
  • Collaborate with the interdisciplinary team members.
  • Provide a holistic approach to care.

Characteristics of a geriatric nurse

  • Provide basic nursing services
  • Offers emotional support to patients
  • Good observer
  • Coordinator
  • Emotionally strong
  • Advocate
  • Hard worker
  • Cope with the challenges
  • Provide home base care

Nursing Assessment

  • History
  • Physical Examination
  • Physiological Assessment
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Socioeconomic Assessment
  • Diagnostic Assessment

Nursing Diagnosis and Nursing Care

  1. Visual changes r/t (related to) age related eye diseases, i.e macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension.

Nursing  care

  • Schedule periodic eye exams.
  • Recognize or try to communicate about the problem
  • Watch for behaviors suggesting vision problems
  • Adjust lighting levels
  • Use night lights and large print materials
  • Allow time for the person to adjust to the changes in light

       2. Hearing capacity changes r/t age related changes, ear blocked with wax.

Nursing care

  • Watch for increased volume with the radio, television, or the person begins speaking loudly.
  • Periodic medical checks for wax build ups in ears.
  • Use hearing aids.
  • Look directly at the person while speaking.

       3. Taste and smell

Sensory and perception changes r/t decrease in taste buds.

Nursing care

  • Ensure adequate fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Seasoning may be added. Watch salt.
  • Change in taste may be related to a medication or an illness.
  • Give feeding through feeding tube in debilitating condition.

       4. Skin

Impaired physical mobility r/t joint pain and vision changes.

Impaired skin integrity r/t skin thinning and skin diseases.

Nursing care

  • More susceptible to pressure sores because of decrease in mobility and thinner skin.
  • Use moisturizing lotion.
  • Provide warm clothing for the elderly.
  • Assist with repositioning.
  • Inspect skin on a regular basis.

       5. Musculoskeletal System

Risk of Injury r/t sensory perceptual changes and brittle bones.

Nursing care

  • Environmental modifications can be made (home safety with non skid materials in bathtubs to prevent falls, etc).
  • Prevention of fall or injury.
  • Provide adaptive assistive equipment for ambulation.
  • Encourage independence, promote regular exercise (if possible, make it be weight bearing)
  • Proper use of assistive devices addressing the osteoporosis with increasing calcium intake and weight bearing exercises if possible.