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Nursing Older People

Amelia Bearn, William Lea, Jennie Kusznir
Delirium is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that all those working with older people will have encountered at some stage. Delirium is often poorly identified in hospital settings and therefore not optimally managed. After data collection on the acute medical unit in an acute hospital trust in the UK it was evident that patients with signs of delirium were not being formally assessed and therefore not appropriately managed in many cases. A quality improvement project introduced the 4AT delirium assessment tool to try to ensure that patients with delirium were being identified...
November 29, 2018: Nursing Older People
Sandra Lawton
Skin changes associated with age are inevitable. Ageing is associated with structural and functional changes of the skin that result in increased vulnerability. The most common functional skin changes are dryness (xerosis), which causes itching and discomfort, and skin fragility, increasing patients' vulnerability to skin damage. Dry skin and itching have a significant effect on older people, which can be further exacerbated by products used for washing and bathing. The management of dry skin and itching is fundamental to older people's care and nurses should act in their best interests to ensure that the potential for skin damage is addressed...
November 29, 2018: Nursing Older People
Ann Skingley, Joy Marshall
The authors took part in a national research project that evaluated an intervention to enhance person-centred care for people with dementia in hospital. The Person, Interactions, Environment (PIE) programme involves staff observing care on a ward, focusing on these three areas. Findings from observations form the basis for introducing changes to ward practices. Implementing PIE led to improvements in practice but proved challenging in the context of the NHS. Sustaining the programme after the research required important features to be in place, in particular the presence of a 'driver' to maintain momentum, the support of the ward manager to encourage ward staff to take part and a degree of flexibility and persistence in the implementation of the programme...
November 6, 2018: Nursing Older People
Amanda Featherstone
This article explores the development of an ambulatory community service that demonstrates multidisciplinary working to meet the diverse needs of frail older people and their carers. The service comprises advanced nurse practitioners, a pharmacist, a community navigator, consultants, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, a nurse, rehabilitation assistants, a healthcare assistant and an administrator. This multidisciplinary team (MDT) serves adults with complex medical and rehabilitation needs who are being discharged from hospital, staying in bedded rehabilitation units or living at home by offering assessments, investigations and rehabilitation, where appropriate closer to home...
October 25, 2018: Nursing Older People
Alison Bardsley
Faecal incontinence is an impaired ability to control the passage of stool, often described as involuntary loss of solid or liquid stool, and the symptom of an underlying diagnosis. It is a common problem in older adults. Although not a life-threatening condition, it can have a significant negative effect on an individual's quality of life and adverse medical, social and economic consequences. Due to the taboo and stigmatising nature of the condition many individuals do not seek assistance. Healthcare professionals should take every opportunity to ask about faecal incontinence symptoms so that symptomatic relief and treatment interventions can be initiated...
September 25, 2018: Nursing Older People
Joy Reid
Early identification of frailty at the front door of the acute hospital is vital to allow rapid comprehensive geriatric assessment and care pathway development in the most appropriate location. This article discusses the importance of developing robust processes to enable early identification and management of frailty in the acute hospital. It also highlights the benefits of developing a dynamic team of professionals at the front door of the acute hospital who are effectively trained to undertake comprehensive assessment...
September 25, 2018: Nursing Older People
Linda Bale, Catharine Jenkins
BACKGROUND: Nursing students and registered nurses often feel underprepared for their roles in dementia care. Extracurricular activities offer nursing students additional opportunities for professional development. A student-academic partnership initiative was developed in which nursing students delivered dementia friends sessions to their peers before formal taught content. AIM: To explore dementia champion nursing students' experiences, identify factors that affect collaborative working and make recommendations for future student-academic partnership projects...
September 25, 2018: Nursing Older People
Marie Cook
Anecdotal and research evidence suggests that poor adherence and persistence with oral bisphosphonates can result in patients being at increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. Several interventions have been researched for their effectiveness with adherence and persistence, but the most effective method of supporting patients with oral bisphosphonate medications is clinician reviews, generally identified as doctors and nurses. This service evaluation aimed to explore the knowledge and views of multidisciplinary community-based clinicians about adherence and persistence with oral bisphosphonates...
July 26, 2018: Nursing Older People
Charlie Banister
Ageism has numerous negative effects on the lives of older people, including their health and well-being. In this reflective account a nursing student explores these effects in the context of an incident where she was inadvertently ageist. She considers what she has learned from this incident and the implications for nursing practice.
July 26, 2018: Nursing Older People
Marie Todd
A venous leg ulcer (VLU) is defined as the loss of skin below the knee on the leg or foot in the presence of venous disease, which takes more than two weeks to heal. The prevalence of VLUs is increasing, especially in older people, which will increase the demand for nursing care. Development of a lower leg ulcer should trigger immediate assessment of risk factors for chronic venous disease followed by action to identify the cause and initiate treatment, which should prevent progression to more complex and chronic problems...
July 26, 2018: Nursing Older People
Lucy Chamberlain, Carole Anderson, Chris Knifton, Gayle Madden
With an ageing population comes an increasing risk of illnesses such as dementia and a growing need for care. There are 670,000 informal, unpaid carers in the UK, reducing costs for health and social care services but presenting other concerns for healthcare professionals. Carer burden and carer stress are well-documented concepts, and can lead to depression and a risk of suicide in some individuals. It is important that this risk is considered when supporting informal carers of people living with dementia...
July 26, 2018: Nursing Older People
Susan Wills, Dena Ross
The community matron care homes team (CHT) was set up in Sandwell, West Midlands in 2011 to support care home staff to manage residents' care safely and reduce unplanned and/or avoidable use of acute health services. The service was reviewed in 2015 and attention focused on care homes with the highest levels of hospital use and emergency 999 services. Working with these care home staff and health professionals, a training and education opportunity to aid staff to manage residents in crisis was sourced, organised and implemented...
May 31, 2018: Nursing Older People
Marietjie du Toit
Joint contractures, or limitations in the full range of movement of joints, are common in older people living in long-term care settings. They result in physical discomfort, social isolation, loss of independence and increased staffing demands. Studies conclude that the prevention of contractures should be the first line of treatment. This article aims to raise awareness of contractures in older people living in nursing homes and individualised preventive strategies that can be used by nursing staff such as maintaining functional ability, risk identification, stretching and correct bed and seating position...
May 31, 2018: Nursing Older People
Martha Dixon
This article aims to assist nurses and nursing students to consider the presentation of delirium in older patients and the resulting assessment and nursing interventions required. It considers the three types of delirium: hyperactive, hypoactive and mixed. It also discusses potential causes of delirium. Older patients are at increased risk of delirium due to factors such as cognitive impairment, co-morbidities and acute illness. Nurses should be confident in the use of the 4AT score to assess patients with delirium...
May 31, 2018: Nursing Older People
Penny Dodds, Katharine Martyn, Mary Brown
This work was part of a National Institute for Health Research participatory action research and practice development study, which focused on the use of a therapeutic, robotic baby seal (PARO, for personal assistive robot) in everyday practice in a single-site dementia unit in Sussex. From the beginning of January 2017 until the end of September 2017, the cleaning and cleanliness of PARO was monitored through a service audit process that focused on the cleaning, amount of use and testing of contamination of PARO being used in everyday clinical practice with individuals and in group sessions...
March 23, 2018: Nursing Older People
Valentina Vanzi, Elena Toma
Dermatoporosis is a chronic skin fragility syndrome, caused by age and environmental factors. People with dermatoporosis have skin whose protective mechanical function is reduced and which has a decreased tolerance for friction and shearing forces. Skin tears are another clinical consequence of age-associated skin vulnerability and people with dermatoporosis are at increased risk of skin tears. Dermatoporosis may also delay the healing of skin tears, making it vital that healthcare professionals are aware of this condition...
March 23, 2018: Nursing Older People
Louise Nash, Nick Bergin
A literature review found an association between increased falls risk and malnutrition, sarcopenia, vitamin D deficiency and dehydration. Strategies to identify, prevent and treat these conditions can help to reduce falls risk in at-risk groups such as frail, older people. Nurses can reduce falls risk in older people by raising awareness of risk factors and embedding nutritional strategies in local falls reduction strategies.
March 23, 2018: Nursing Older People
Sheryll Lat, Wendy Mashlan, Susan Heffey, Bridie Jones
Sepsis is a common condition caused by the body's immune and coagulation systems being 'switched on' by the presence of infection, either through bacteria or viruses in the blood. If untreated, sepsis can be life-threatening and is a leading cause of death in hospital patients worldwide. However, awareness of sepsis is low. This article provides an overview of the important role played by nurses in acute hospital settings in the early identification and treatment of suspected sepsis in frail older patients, and in escalating the care and management of deteriorating patients...
February 26, 2018: Nursing Older People
Lindsay Fitzpatrick
Hospital stays can have significant negative effects for people with dementia. This article explores methods of improving dementia care in general hospital wards. Taking its starting point as the importance of person-centred care, it explores ways of improving the ward environment, meaningful activities, personal history work, involving carers, and identifying and treating delirium. Practical strategies are suggested in each of these areas. The article acknowledges that implementing change can be challenging in NHS settings where wards are understaffed, and time is precious...
February 26, 2018: Nursing Older People
Aine McAnulla, Bernie Reid, Malgorzata Zieba
Public health is the responsibility of every nurse and nursing practice should adopt a life course approach to the promotion of health and well-being. This approach requires a renewed focus on health promotion interventions aimed at older people, including those resident in nursing homes. The oral health status of older people in nursing homes has been reported as suboptimal, predisposing them to poorer health-related quality of life. Interventions focusing on knowledge and behaviours related to oral health management for nurses, other caregivers and older people have the potential to improve the provision of oral care...
February 26, 2018: Nursing Older People
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