Geriatric Nursing Care in the Home Setting

“The increased proportion of older adults in the population need not present major problems,” authors Bennett and Flaherty-Robb assure readers of the Online Journal of issues in Nursing (OJIN) There’s a big IF at the end of that sentence, however: “IF we can provide appropriate resources.” No easy task, that, with the fastest growing group in the U.S. consisting of the “oldest old” - those aged 85 years or more. At Action Products, we take great pride in our ongoing role in geriatric nursing products.

The authors call attention to several important factors impacting the future of geriatric nursing care in America:

  • From 2010-2030, the number of people age 85 and older is expected to increase by more than 4 million.
  • Many older adults will be from ethnically diverse cultures. Hispanic elders, now 5.6% of the elderly, will increase to 16.4% over the coming 50 years. Meanwhile, only 12.3% of RNs are from ethnically diverse groups.
  • The current shortage of nurses is expected to accelerate in coming years; to mitigate the shortage of gerontological nurses, increased recruitment must be initiated now.
  • Only 14 of the nation’s medical school require courses in geriatrics.
  • Significant reductions in hospital length of stay have “produced a cascade of unintended consequences”. Family-centered care must become the focus, rather than “setting-specific” strategies.

Are we preparing gerontological nurses for the future?

In response to that very question, The AARP has partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to form the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action. The goal? To improve the health of populations through a strong, diverse nursing workforce. Early in the project, Meredith Wallace Kazer, PhD, APRN, FAAN reports, large gaps were discovered between what academia thought nurses needed and what was actually expected of them in their first nursing positions. That gap analysis process, Kazer believes, can now be helpful in preparing gerontological nurses of the future. Chief among the clinical practice problems that emerged were:

  • skin care
  • fall prevention
  • dementia care
  • advanced directives

When it comes to skin care in geriatrics, Action Products founder Dr. McElroy has been part of the pressure injury prevention initiative since its inception. In fact, when McElroy introduced AKTON® polymer to the marketplace, it spurred a worldwide revolution in the pressure management industry. The key element in our company’s products continues to be that exclusive material, which looks and feels like a gel, but is more body friendly. Action® home health care products include wheelchair cushions, adaptive pads, and mattress overlays, all designed for preserving skin integrity and the prevention of pressure injury.