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Gerontological Nursing Overview and Analysis Essay

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Updated: May 12th, 2022

Aging refers to a biological process of growing old. The study of the biological process is referred to as gerontology. While many people associate aging with its negative aspects such as senility and dementia, gerontology is an objective study of aging that aims at achieving a holistic understanding of the process. It is important to highlight that aging process elicits different meanings in the academic circles. Hansen (2012) says that aging refers to accretion of psychological, social and physical changes that people experience over time. Hansen (2012) points out that aging is a critical process of human life and societies especially when attempting to understand the biological processes and changes that typify human life. Aging process is counterproductive to social organization given that old people become dependent on younger generation (Hansen, 2012). Besides, many governments spend huge amounts of financial resources to care for the elderly. This does not only make aging process an important aspect of societies but also an important process of economic and social organization in a country.

Gerontological nursing is a sub discipline of nursing that studies health care issues of the elderly in society (Pascucci, 2008). The field of nursing has integrated a more proactive approach of caring for communities and enhancing preventive care. Subsequently, gerontological nursing converges with the increase of nursing activities within communities (Hansen, 2012). This is in lieu of the fact that industrialized nations have large numbers of the elderly. The rationale is that fertility rates have declined tremendously in these countries. To that end, it is important to highlight that over hundred thousand people die in the United States die annually owing to age-related complications (Pascucci, 2008). The profession of nursing therefore targets communities to address issues that relate to aging and other aspects of preventive and curative care.

According to statistics released by US administration on aging, over 42% of the total population was above 60 years in 2010 (Kennedy, 2011). This reflects a slow growth of the aging population when compared to statistics released by the same organization in 2000. In fact, almost 40% of the population was above sixty years (Hansen, 2012). As such, it is apparent that almost half of the population is aging rapidly. The field of nursing therefore plays an important role in enhancing the health and longevity of the elderly (Pascucci, 2008). This is in lieu of the fact that the older population requires constant and frequent health care services. According to Hansen (2012), roughly 56% of the elderly could neither afford nor access healthcare services by 2010. To that end, gerontological nursing aims at ensuring that the rising number of the aging population accesses universal health care by 2020. This was also a major target and goal set out by US Health department.

Aging population suffers from various age-related complications. Ranging from dementia to Parkinson disorders, old people are susceptible to many health conditions (Kennedy, 2011). Professional nursing practitioners ought to integrate nursing processes to address many issues that people in this age category face. Undoubtedly, many old people suffer from mental illnesses. To help them cope with the illnesses, it is important for gerontological nurses to assess the mental condition of the person (Hansen, 2012). Besides, planning is an important aspect of nursing process. The practitioner should schedule therapeutic sessions in a way that increases the chances of recuperation. This way, the country will be able to achieve its objectives by reducing mental illnesses among the elderly.

References

Hansen, K. (2012). A Concept Analysis of Healthy Aging. Nursing Forum, 40(2), 45-57.

Kennedy, G. (2011). Geriatric Mental Health Care: A Treatment Guide for Health Professionals. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 6(5), 67-89.

Pascucci, M. (2008). A Message for Boomers: Take Good Care of Yourself. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 34(3), 3-7.

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