Elderly Population

Elderly Population


Herzing University






Health care is a very sensitive element in the context of fostering quality of life amongst the people in the society. The assertion is supported by the fact that there are myriad elements that are affiliated with health care that could be assessed to determine the value of health care provided. It is imperative to denote that the target consumers of the health care services is very diverse. There are myriad demographic features that could be used to distinguish the different consumers of the health care services. These factors include age and gender. Every specific target population is distinguished in the context of age and probably gender and then subcategorized in term of their health concerns and special requirements. In this context, the research selects the elderly population for analysis as far as their health care demands are concerned. Particularly, the research intends to evaluate the environmental, the emotional and the nursing care needs of the patients. Further, the research intends to describe the manner through which the nurses can apply these theories to facilitate comprehensive care to the elderly population.

Overview of the Selected Population

The elderly population is a very sensitive one considering that the quality of health amongst most of those who belong to it deteriorates increasingly as compared to those of an earlier age. Hence, they require that all aspects of health care be taken care of in the most appropriate manner. The America Society has historically failed to provide a reliable system as far health care for the aged is concerned. That does not conclude that there is reluctance to do so. However, these efforts have not fostered an outcome that could be expected in a country that has immense support for health care quality. Different countries have their aged care systems where the system is expected to meet varied need of the individual patients. At times, the elderly may require part-time care or consistent care. Hence, special programs have to be established to ensure that all the environments and their affiliated demands are catered.    

Environmental Needs – Unitary Human Being Theory

From a professional perspective, there are several categories of environmental needs as far as health care is concerned. In this context, one most important goal in the universe are to facilitate healthy aging. That means that there is a need to ameliorate the environmental factors that are essential for the promotion and maintenance of the health status of the elderly (Katch, 1983). Recent statistics imply that most elderly persons suffer from chronic illnesses. Health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac related issues have become very common amongst the aged persons. In that context, it is imperative to denote the social and physical environments and how bettering these environments could help in improving the quality of health care for the elderly population (Katch, 1983).

The Social Environment

Providing the elderly with a supportive social environment is one crucial conduct of providing health care to them. The environment becomes critical for the aging process (Katch, 1983). For instance, as stipulated initially, the elderly are highly prone to chronic illnesses. These people require utmost support in a bid to eliminate any cases of institutionalization. In the context of being appreciated in the community offers them a better rate of health stability. A great population of the aged are considered to be partially or completely inactive from an economic perspective. Therefore, they require increased attention. For instance, the aged women often express scenarios of jeopardy when they grow old. That means that their ability to handle shocks and social disappointments especially when they are ailing reduces their recuperation rate. That could result in mental challenges. Arguably, it is commendable that providing a socially supportive environment through coordinating and improving the community-based health care. That involves engaging in a continuous and holistic social support system that facilitates the collaboration of the informal and the formal networks to ensure that the aged live a quality life.

Physical Environment

Besides the supportive social environment, there is the need to have a supportive physical environment, in fact, this is also a primary requirement for this population of patients (Katch, 1983). Elderly persons with any form of illness including the chronic illnesses are considered to be at a higher risk of becoming disabled or suffering other body malfunctions. The opportunity possibility of these persons to face injuries that are uncalled for is very high. Therefore, appropriate assistance ought to be provided. For instance, these people in the society require assistance as far as accessing the health care facilities is concerned. Convenient transport is considered to be paramount especially in ensuring that the patients access health care.

Further, in the context of the physical environment, the elderly patients demand a supportive environment that is safe and accessible for them to live (Katch, 1983). For instance, elderly patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as osteoporosis, arthritis and to other affiliated health issues require limitations as far as self-care, and too much activity is concerned. These patients require physical support regarding equipment that will assist in self-maintenance, as well as, prosthetic aid. These equipment include the wheelchairs and the leg braces. A safe living environment would also be sufficient in the context that the aged require being in a place that they find convenient even in the context enhancing their social life.

Emotional Needs – Self Care Theory

From an emotional perspective, there is a high feasibility of the elderly patient population to seek empathy from the active members of the society including the caregivers. First, an elderly person requires having a feeling of safety (Leenerts et.al, 2002). That includes having a desire to be close to other people regardless of their age. The central idea here is that the aged require emotional attention as it contributes to their healthy aging. From a health perspective, the closeness to other members of the society assists them to avoid cases of depression and heart-related issues that result from depression. Usually, failure to consider these requirements leads to loss of appetite, poor comprehension and poor sleeping patterns. From a practical perspective, research regarding the American Association of Retired Persons has conclude that emotional care for the elderly includes dealing with signs of loneliness (Leenerts et.al, 2002).

The Old people often face some tremendous changes in their lives. Emotional support is expected to assist them to deal and accommodate their frequent experiences oscillating around illnesses, adjusting towards being a care recipient and even bereavement. Another requirement of the elderly is that of interaction. In the context of attempting to resolve issues related to them, they often require that one listens to them carefully (Clark, 1998). That means that they often become in dire need of an individual who will assist them to take care of themselves through tailoring interventions regarding what is best for them at their old age. That way, these elderly population is likely to live a reliable quality life.

In most cases, being a caregiver requires that one speculates other hidden or expectations of the aged regarding their future. They are often predictable. That way, it becomes easy for one to consider regulating the emotional, physical and even sensory abilities. Incapacity to address these concerns could lead to emotional damage (Clark, 1998).

Nursing Care Needs – Human caring

Unlike the emotional and environmental needs, the nursing needs are more of health care that the any other aspect of life (Strickland, D. (1996). However, on different accounts, the nurses may be required by the aged patients to incorporate some of the environmental and emotional aspects as they conduct their health care or nursing activities.

There are several needs that the aged often have in their relationship with the geriatric caregivers. First, they require consistent, careful and comprehensive attention to their satisfaction. Quite often, the elderly people dedicate their trust to the nurses more than they can to their family members (Strickland, 1996). They often trust the expertise and knowledge of the nurses in their health issues. That implies that the selected target population mainly focuses on acquiring a positive response from the nurses. Remember, the patients mainly consider emotional attention as a way towards resolving their health constraints. It is imperative to denote that the nurses are expected to deliver timely and quality services to the old patients. In most health care centers where the nurses fail to attend to the aged population appropriately, the number of admissions is likely to reduce.

Application of These Theories in Nursing

Nurses are expected to apply these three theories in the process of administering comprehensive care to the aged population. From an argumentative perspective, the nurses are supposed to embrace and understand these theoretically stipulated requirements affiliated with the care of the aged for them to offer satisfactory services. First, the nurses are supposed to ensure that they facilitate the establishment of an appropriate social environment and physical environment. That includes interacting with the elderly patients in a friendly manner hence resulting in proper consultations (Leenerts et.al, 2002). The patients also get access to the health care provided by the nurses who serve the patients will absolute consideration of their expectations. Further, in the context emotional needs, the nurses have to address the patients carefully especially when they are conducting checkups to ensure that the patients feel satisfied with the services provided. The two theoretical approaches to the elderly patients’ needs merge to facilitate successful nursing care. That way, the nurses accomplish their role of offering comprehensive care.

Relationship of the Theories

The three theories have one concept in common. That is the concept of understanding the target population and its expectations when it comes to health care. The theory in environmental needs and that of emotional needs have a very close relationship since both attempt to address the need for a caregiver to consider the social and emotional expectations of the elderly patients. Then, the two theories add up to what the nurse should do in the context of satisfying the nursing needs of the patients. The theories, therefore, assist in addressing the elderly population’s needs. It is possible for the nursing practitioners to understand the expectations of the elderly patients as far as health care is concerned.

The theories can be applied especially in the cases of elderly patients who are suffering from chronic illnesses. First, the health situation is frustrating to the elderly person since it results in increased inability to become economically active. The nurses are expected to consider the environmental and emotional expectations of the elderly people with serious chronic illnesses for them to influence the health care process.








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Leenerts, M. H., Teel, C. S., & Pendleton, M. K. (2002). Building a Model of Self‐Care for Health Promotion In Aging. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 34(4), 355-361.

Clark, C. C. (1998). Wellness Self‐care by Healthy Older Adults. Image: the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 30(4), 351-355.

Strickland, D. (1996). Applying Watson’s Theory for caring among elders. Journal of gerontological nursing, 22(7), 6-9.

Noel, D. L. (2010). Occupational health nursing practice through the human caring lens. AAOHN journal, 58(1), 17-26.