Nursing: Geriatric Special Topics: Age-Related Changes in Health

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About the Course

Target Audience: The target audience for this education program is nurses who work with older adults and want to increase their knowledge of age-related changes in health.

Course Overview: The course of normal aging, independent of disease, is accompanied by a myriad of changes in the body's systems. The clinical implications of these age-related alterations are important in nursing assessment and care of the older adult. Changes associated with normal aging must be differentiated from pathological processes in order to develop appropriate interventions. Manifestations of aging can adversely impact the health and functional capability of older adults and require therapeutic strategies to correct. Age-associated changes predispose older persons to selected diseases. Thus, nurses' understanding of these risks can serve to develop more effective approaches to assessment and care. This education program provides nurses with information about age-related body changes and nursing interventions important to the care of older adults as it relates to these changes.

Learning Objectives  

  1. Describe the structural and functional changes in multiple body systems that occur during the normal aging process
  2. Explain the clinical significance of these age-related changes regarding the health and disease risks of the older adult
  3. Discuss the components of a nursing assessment for the older adult in light of the manifestations of normal aging
  4. Identify care strategies to promote successful aging in older adults, with consideration of age-related changes

About the Author

Marie Boltz, PhD, RN, GNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN, is associate professor at the Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing, where she teaches both advanced practice nursing and doctoral students. Also, she is currently a senior nurse scientist at the Munn Center for Nursing Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, and a gerontological nurse consultant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Justice. She served as director of practice at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing from 2003 to 2013. Her areas of research are the geriatric care environment including measures of quality, dementia-capable and family-centered interventions, the prevention of functional decline in hospitalized older adults, and the functional recovery of older adults during post-acute care. She has presented nationally and internationally, and authored and coauthored numerous journal publications, organizational tools, and book chapters in these areas, and has coedited five books. She is the lead editor for Evidence-Based Geriatric Nursing Protocols for Best Practice

Elizabeth (Liz) Capezuti, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the William Randolph Hearst chair in gerontology and assistant dean for research at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing of Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Capezuti teaches in the graduate doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program and is a professor in the Graduate Center and the PhD program in nursing science of CUNY. She is known for her work in improving the care of older adults by interventions and models that positively influence health care providers' knowledge and work environment. Dr. Capezuti's research interests include fall prevention, restraint and side-rail elimination, APN-facilitated models, palliative care, the geriatric nursing work environment, and the design of the "built environment" to facilitate function. She is the recipient of the Otsuka/American Geriatrics Society Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award in 2001 and received the American Academy of Nursing Nurse Leade

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