Clinical judgment is exceedingly indispensable and paramount in the provision of care among the aged. The care is provided by qualified nurses, and its essence is to maintain excellent health, prevent diseases, recover health, and attain the best quality of life. In line with this, the nurses also play significant purpose in minimizing distress, maintain a healthful and a well responsive physiological, social, psychological and cultural state in the old population (Mauk, 2010). Further, the care is particularly essential among the aged, since they have complex health and body system characterized by frequent infection with chronic diseases, reiterated diagnosis, generation of mental associated problems, sensory impairment and loss of balance (Hindle & Coates, 2011). Moreover, the aged people also require food comprised of a well balanced diet, adequate rest, and exercise to enhance their health and stay during their old age (Hindle & Coates, 2011). Similarly, Non governmental bodies like American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) have also played a leading role in offering a plethora of benefits to the old ensuring a sustainable, healthy life.
The nurses play intensely substantial roles, to facilitate and achieve this care, through creating an atmosphere and imparting the necessary requisites which are inevitable in sustaining a proficient life among the old. According to Royal College of Nursing (2007), the roles are based on various facets and categorized in a given framework for better understanding and implementation. The first role is the supportive functions, and it largely dwells in the issuance of vast and versatile kinds of support and motivation (Mauk, 2010). The nurses offer social support and emotional support, which significantly influence psychosocial function in older adults. This aids in improving the person’s ability to cope up with stressful life experience ascribed to retirement, loneliness due to death of spouse, or change in the physical appearance (Miller, 2009).
In light with this, they also assist in the old people, in the transition of life from young to old age, through a lot of encouragements and life review (Royal College of Nursing, 2007). Similarly, they enhance life style, evinced through improved nutrition that helps in reducing depression, constipation and medical problems, and increasing mental health and cognitive function (Miller, 2009). Relationships, cultural sensitivity, and self expression are also enhanced, ensuring a healthy life among the aged (Royal College of Nursing, 2007).
Restorative function is another key role, and it widely emphasizes on maximization of cognitive and physical function, generation of self independence, and enhancing the quality of life (Royal College of Nursing, 2007). The nurses play a crucial role in identifying and addressing factors that influence cognitive function. The factors may include; depression, acute or chronic medical conditions, depression, and dementia and the key remedy to the problems may be through improved nutrition and treatment (Miller, 2009). In cases where the conditions are worse, rehabilitation becomes necessary to prevent further deterioration, and the focus of the nurses on the rehabilitation process, may aid in the developing of personal independence and improvement of the assessment skills (Royal College of Nursing, 2007).
Education function is another imperative role of nurses in taking care of the aged. This role encompasses the teaching of various methods of self care. The nurses provide and impart the required knowledge on alternative ways of self care methods on self medication, ways of exercise, and health promotion (Royal College of Nursing, 2007). In line with this, life enhancing methods, for instance, ways of relieving pain and ensuring adequate nutrition, are also taught by the nurses, and conventionally it aids in the increase of confidence and competence in the daily activity (Royal College of Nursing, 2007). They also educate the older adults on how to build on self esteem, which is a valuable tool that influences the well being of a person. The self esteem aids in alleviating self confidence, ability and the health of the older adults (Miller, 2009). Further, different types of self care models have been invented to alleviate the teaching of the aged.
As identified, nurses play a key role in maintaining and improving the health of older adults. However, their services have not been proficient and adequate to some extent. To improve the nursing services, some legislative agendas and actions must be taken into consideration and addressed to AARP, a group that can offer a vast range of assistance to the old struggling adults. In accordance to Miller (2009), legal and ethical concerns should be addressed in an elaborate manner, so as to identify the needs, decision making capacity, competency, autonomy and rights of vulnerable aged adults. These issues expand the role of nurses as it allows better and accurate medication for the old, appropriate self care models and the description of detailed nursing activities.
Moreover, the number of nurses should be increased, and their education should be based on practice development, and systematic approach to increase their potentials. This can be achieved through the creation of practice change and development of philosophical practice (Hindle & Coates, 2011). The nurses should also be trained to be more patient centered, through networking, patient focus and building of effective relationship with the aged adults. In addition to this, health care facilities should be extended, and federal funds increased, to allow magnificent work by the nurse, so as to improve the health of the aged. In spades, the facets mentioned above are indispensable, and when taken into consideration they can help extend the role of nurses.
In a nut-shell, the role of nurses based on the framework of support, education, and restoration is exceedingly cardinal, and it sets up the required base for quality caring of the old adults. Similarly, the knowledge and skills of the nurses, is also hugely essential in managing and planning on how the health care is to be conducted. Thence, it is tremendously crucial for the federal government and non governmental bodies like AARP, to provide the required tools and environment necessary for the expansion of nurses’ roles.
Hindle, A. & Coates, A. (Eds.). (2011). Nursing Care of Older People. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Mauk, L. K. (2010). Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Miller, A. C. (2009). Nursing For Wellness in Older Adults (5th ed.). Philadelphia PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Royal College of Nursing (2007). Maximizing Independence: The Role of the Nurse in Supporting the Rehabilitation of Older People. Retrieved from [http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/109326/003186.pdf]