Aging is the fate that awaits every individual who lives beyond the age when one is considered an adult but not yet elderly. Old age is complex and varies greatly from one person to another depending on the circumstances under which they grow old and the environment around them in their old age. Successful aging describes old age that is comfortable without complications in various aspects. Successful aging includes high cognitive and physical functional capacity, low likelihood of disease-related disability and active engagement with life. Currently in the United States of America, a very small percentage of the elderly population experience successful aging due to chronic diseases, injuries, and neglect by family and poor quality of care.
Apart from the immediate caregivers, healthcare professionals, specifically nurses are often the people with the closest contact with the elderly. This is mainly because old age is accompanied with illnesses that need medical attention.as the closest healthcare professional to the elderly, the nurse is tasked with the role of promoting health among these individuals and therefore promoting successful aging. These health interventions by nurses are aimed at promoting health in chronic illness and health education to promote better health outcomes. With the help of caregivers and family, nurses can ensure that elderly individuals age successfully.
The nurse can promote health among the elderly through integration of their knowledge and experience in delivering quality geriatric care. In addition to this, the nurse has a role to demonstrate competence in managing the health of geriatric clients in primary care and engaging in counselling, communication, collaboration and teaching of both the client and their family on issues relating to the health of the geriatric patient. The nurse should carry out these roles in a caring manner that is ethical and professional. The nurse should advocate for both preventive and curative medicine to promote the health of the geriatric client. This is through ensuring that the patient receives required immunizations, appropriate nutrition and diet, appropriate physical exercise, takes prescribed medication and adheres to their plan of care. Working with the client’s family ensures that the emotional and financial support needed is provided.
Grady, P. A. (2011). Advancing the Health of Our Aging Population. Retrieved from Nursing Outlook: www.nursingoutlook.org