Maintaining excellent health as an older adult takes far more than medication and treatment alone. Elderly patients need extra care and support.
They require qualified and competent staff to make them feel comfortable while dealing with chronic health conditions.
Older adults may find living independently difficult, prompting a relocation to a nursing home.
Alzheimer’s disease, visual impairment, hearing loss, and dementia are common conditions in the elderly.
Therefore, nurses must care for such patients with weakened immune systems and declining body functioning.
Geriatric nurses specialize in delivering primary care to senior patients.
With their knowledge and skills, these nurses can address aged patients’ physical and mental health needs.
Nurses help these patients protect their health and deal with the changes in their physical and mental abilities. It gives older folks a sense of independence and activity.
But caring for older patients isn’t all that easy.
So, we’ve compiled below a list of tips for nurses to improve elderly patient outcomes that can yield considerable benefits in the long term.
8 Tips For Nurses How to Provide Better Care To The Elderly:
1. Earn necessary qualification.
Geriatric nurses are in higher demand as the population ages in nursing homes with more elderly patients.
So, nurses need to stay current on the newest developments in elderly care plans and practices. They must be able to analyze information and practice evidence based medicine and research.
Several institutes offer online courses for nurses to specialize in gerontology.
Enrolling in an Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner master’s degree can help interested professionals learn how to provide such patients with better care.
The program assists nurses in building leadership skills and putting policies in place to improve current caregiving practices.
2. Engage with the patient.
Older people always crave someone’s presence to open up about their life experiences. They feel more comfortable and less anxious about their sickness when sharing personal experiences.
Nurses can improve treatment outcomes by engaging with elderly patients.
Doing so strengthens their relationship with them and boosts morale.
Unloading a bit of their personal experience and memories is also a good way to exercise their brain.
It can also remove some entrenched emotional burden they’ve been carrying around for years.
3. Involve the patient in treatment.
Most elderly complain about not having been informed about their treatment. Because of this, these patients often feel irritable and helpless about the care they receive.
It might be because of a communication barrier, cognitive disability, or lack of education.
Hence, nurses should involve the patient and inquire whether they understand the treatment plan.
This way, nurses can educate the patients about their treatment and help them manage it better. Written information can go a long way in helping the patient grasp what is going on if they can read.
4. Show respect.
Nurses should uphold the dignity of older patients to ensure they don’t feel helpless.
This understanding can aid communication by bridging generational gaps.
Maintaining dignity requires making personal decisions.
Nurses, for example, may inquire about how and when they wish to dress and their daily habits.
Also, respecting the patient’s privacy can help them feel at ease in the healthcare setting.
5. Deal with sensory issues.
A patient who can’t hear or see may feel upset while receiving care.
It is because they may not be able to understand what is going on.
Hence, nurses should inform patients about the therapy procedures that are about to begin.
Nurses must communicate with patients using written statements, words, or actions that make them feel comfortable.
It will also make them confident about what to expect while you give care.
Ailments can impact differently on each patient. Caregivers must keep the patients’ medical conditions in mind at all times. Before beginning the treatment, ensure the patient’s glasses and the hearing aid are in place.
6. Create a calming environment.
Patients with sensory impairment may find loud noise and harsh environments disturbing. If a patient is resistive to care and quickly disturbed, consider changing the setting.
You can do this by bringing in green plants, reducing distractions, lowering background noise, and speaking from a distance.
These seemingly modest interventions can be quite effective in calming an agitated or worried patient.
Ensure the environment promotes their freedom and autonomy, reduces the danger of damage or harm, and feels like their own personal space.
7. Create an exercising routine.
Physical activity is crucial for senior patients who are mobile.
Patients must be encouraged to engage in regular physical activity keeping in mind their illnesses.
Talk with your patients about suitable activities and schedule a session for each day.
Activities like walking, meditation, and indoor games can help them overcome depression and stay fit. It benefits their muscles and bones as well.
Older adults should walk more and sit less.
Seniors who engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity reap some health benefits.
8. Have patience.
Elderly patients may get agitated at a minor thing. Dealing with them requires patience and politeness in your tone.
Nurses may need to repeat conversations several times before the patient fully comprehends information. If speaking with a client involves too much repetition, talk slowly and clearly until they understand.
Elderly patients may also take longer to respond to questions and walk to assessment rooms. Nurses should be ready to help older patients with physical chores like moving, sitting, and changing clothes.
It’s crucial to be patient with elderly patients as they settle in and convey their worries. They will feel appreciated and heard if you do in this manner.
What you should remember?
It can be challenging to deliver the best possible care to aging patients.
However, adhering to the tips mentioned above will make the process more manageable.
Nurse practitioners capable of providing high quality care to the elderly are in demand nowadays. Fortunately, you can specialize in this niche and unlock several employment opportunities that offer personal and financial rewards.