The Older Adult

Hee, Lisa and Neville, Christine ORCID: (2020) The Older Adult. In: Fundamentals of Nursing Australia and New Zealand 2nd ed. Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne, Australia, pp. 321-346. ISBN 9780170411417


For most of the history of humankind, ageing has been the problem of a fortunate few. Before 1900, when the average life expectancy was 47, relatively few people lived to be 50 years old. In the 20th century, great strides were made in medicine, sanitation, hygiene and control of infectious diseases. People have learned how to live longer, with life expectancy now over 75 years, but we are still trying to learn how to live well. The present challenge is not adding years to one’s life, but rather to improve the quality of an extended life span.

This chapter considers the person-centered approach to ageing. Situational awareness is enhanced if you recognise the richness of the older person’s life story and their lived experiences. They have a lot to share with you, if you care to listen. You will examine various theories of ageing, in addition to the many myths about ageing that continue to exist. The various changes that are experienced are explored with an emphasis on the safety considerations for the ageing person. You will also explore how the nursing process strengthens your ability to provide the older person with care in a respectful and efficacious manner.

Learning Outcomes
1 Discuss theories of ageing.
2 Refute common myths about ageing.
3 Describe the impact of physical changes associated with ageing on functional ability.
4 Explain ways in which the older adult adapts to the physiological changes associated with ageing.
5 Discuss the psychosocial impact that retirement, changes in social relationships, changes in living arrangements, and loss may have on the older adult.
6 Define polypharmacy and its significance for nurses caring for older adults.
7 Identify physical and psychological signs of abuse in older adults and the actions required if detected.
8 Outline safety considerations for the older adult living at home.
9 Discuss the use of the nursing process with older adults.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2020 01:12
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2020 04:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: nursing; older adults; theories of ageing; myths about ageing; person-centred care; safety; polypharmacy; physical changes; physiological changes; functional ability; social relationships; elder abuse
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111001 Aged Care Nursing
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420502 Aged care nursing

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