The efforts of geriatric nurses are concentrated on the health of elderly patients. Understandably, this patient group faces an increased risk of various traumas and diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s). Therefore, the main objective of geriatric care is the development of effective preventive measures (Arai et al., 2011). On a larger scale, nurses are responsible for helping patients and their families deal with their illnesses/diseases as well as their consequences. Geriatric nurses can usually be found working in nursing homes, taking care of patients who are bedridden or who suffer from mental disabilities (Arai et al., 2011). In other words, the role of geriatric nurses in elderly care is constantly changing, but it is in no way losing its significance.
Geriatric nurses are in charge of developing interventions and counseling, and they have to organize resource utilization plans and understand and promote the essential needs of their elderly patients (Moore, Boscardin, Steinman, & Schwartz, 2012). In the majority of cases, these nurses are in control of educating the patients, the patients’ families, and other healthcare specialists who may be involved in the processes of geriatric care. Currently, all the major innovations that have been introduced in the field of geriatric nursing care based on the initiatives of geriatric nurses and their collaborative practice. Their intentions are aimed at improving the health condition of elderly people (Inouye, Westendorp, & Saczynski, 2014). The full potential of geriatric nurses has yet to be reached, and the current research problem should be identified to help the researcher understand the core aspects of geriatric nursing and its implications.
Identification of the Problem
Regardless of the significant progress that has been made in the area of geriatric care, problems within the framework of the geriatric care setting still exist. First of all, there is the critical issue of finding a balance between the services of healthcare consultants and the basic palliative skills that should be possessed by geriatric nurses (Stewart, Chipperfield, Perry, & Weiner, 2012). Currently, not all nurses can work with critically ill individuals and effectively interact with their families. Of course, this problem of equilibrium varies from one healthcare facility to another, but the basic premises of the issue are evident across the profession and have a momentous impact on geriatric care in general (Stewart et al., 2012).
The re-evaluated principles of geriatric health care should be unifying and thus put into practice across all health care facilities. Secondly, to design and employ interventions aimed to trigger the development of the key aspects of geriatric care—including effective communication, the identification of health care objectives, the decision-making process, and professional provision of support for patients and their families—geriatric nurses should be able to adjust their interventions to the local environment and relevant policies (Stewart et al., 2012). A more specific problem relates to the inefficiency of interventions designed to simplify the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. The majority of geriatric nurses are well-versed in terms of general interventions intended to help patients with Alzheimer’s, but a limited number of individually adjusted and flexible approaches are available at the moment (Stewart et al., 2012).
Significance of the Problem to Nursing
The problem that Alzheimer’s poses for the framework of geriatric nursing can be explained by the preventive nature of geriatric care. Indeed, precautionary measures intended to help the nurse treat the patient may prove ineffective when applied to different patients (Curtis, 2015). The problem is significant because while the incidences of Alzheimer’s disease have increased in a linear progression, the number of available interventions has not varied substantially. Geriatric nurses should be keen on detecting the disease early because it would ultimately allow them to choose from an extensive array of interventions (Dall et al., 2013). In perspective, the nurse would also be able to combine these interventions and let the patient discover individualized treatment options. Alzheimer’s and its connection to geriatric care should be researched to support the important decisions made by nurses and patients regarding the financial and lawful aspects of their care (Moore et al., 2012). In the long term, early detection of the disease and better design of personalized interventions can minimize anxiety in elderly patients.
Purpose of the Research
The purpose of the current research is to enable geriatric nurses to identify the key components that go beyond the local nursing setting and provide high-quality geriatric care for patients with Alzheimer’s. The researcher is interested in studying the outcomes and developing several flexible interventions. To this end, the outcome measures will be identified, and the most efficient measures will be highlighted. The researcher’s key concern is the development of high-quality approaches that can be diversified based on the individual features of each geriatric patient.
How can nurses mitigate the adverse outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease by a personalized approach and intervention and an individual care plan in a geriatric setting?
Arai, H., Ouchi, Y., Yokode, M., Ito, H., Uematsu, H., Eto, F.,… Kita, T. (2011). Toward the realization of a better aged society: Messages from gerontology and geriatrics. Geriatrics & Gerontology International, 12(1), 16-22.
Curtis, J. (2015). Palliative care in critical illness: Challenges for research and practice. Palliative Medicine, 29(4), 291-292.
Dall, T. M., Gallo, P. D., Chakrabarti, R., West, T., Semilla, A. P., & Storm, M. V. (2013). An aging population and growing disease burden will require a large and specialized health care workforce by 2025. Health Affairs, 32(11), 2013-2020.
Inouye, S. K., Westendorp, R., & Saczynski, J. (2014). Delirium in elderly people. The Lancet, 383(9920), 911-922.
Moore, K. L., Boscardin, W. J., Steinman, M. A., & Schwartz, J. B. (2012). Age and sex variation in prevalence of chronic medical conditions in older residents of U.S. nursing homes. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(4), 756-764.
Stewart, T. L., Chipperfield, J. G., Perry, R. P., & Weiner, B. (2012). Attributing illness to ‘old age:’ Consequences of a self-directed stereotype for health and mortality. Psychology & Health, 27(8), 881-897.