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Gerontological Nursing: A way forward!!


Ten Principles

Version 1 - Prepared by the Inaugural CoP 2001

Gerontological Nursing contributes to and often leads the interdisciplinary and multi-agency care of older people.

It may be practiced in a variety of settings, although it is most likely to be developed within services dedicated to the care of older people.

It is a person-centred approach to promoting healthy ageing and the achievement of well being, enabling the person and their carers to adapt to health and life changes and to face ongoing health challenges.

To achieve this, in-depth Gerontological Nursing knowledge and skills are required alongside a commitment to an explicit value base.

The principles of Gerontological Nursing practice developed during 2001 are as follows:

  1. Commitment to person-centred care

    Understanding and acknowledging the needs and wishes of the older person and ensuring that these underpin the planning and delivery of care. Promoting continuity of care that values the older person's unique past, present and future individuality and recognising and respecting the person's role and contribution to family and wider society.
  2. Commitment to an enabling model of care

    Recognising the uniqueness of each older person, and building on positive lifelong coping skills and strategies. Negotiating and reviewing care goals in partnership with the older person and family, according to the individual's needs and wishes.
  3. Promotion of an enabling environment

    Promoting positive staff attitudes together with a supportive physical and organisational environment in order to create an enabling living, or care environment that conveys a sense of hope and achievement for the older person.
  4. Respect for a person's rights and choice

    Respecting and promoting the rights of each older person as a consenting adult to make independent choices and care decisions, according to the person's wishes, and recognising when it is necessary to draw on patient advocacy services.
  5. Promoting dignity

    Promoting dignity in day to day care to include consideration for the older person's privacy and confidentiality.
  6. Establishing equity of access

    Acting as champion and striving to secure on behalf of all older people the same access to services as other age groups.
  7. Maximising therapeutic interventions

    Developing attitudes, knowledge, and skills in order to turn a caring event into a therapeutic opportunity for the older person and where appropriate her/his family.
  8. Commitment to developing innovative practice

    Adopting strategies to promote evidence based gerontological nursing practice and advancing knowledge, skills and competencies of staff through continued education and research.
  9. Commitment to an explicit and shared set of values

    Developing an agreed care philosophy that seeks to maintain the uniqueness of the older person, reflecting her/his needs and identifying the standards of care, which she/he can expect.
  10. Commitment to interdisciplinary working and partnership

    Working as part of a team of experts who recognise, seek out and respect each other's contribution to the care of the older person. Directing the collective effort towards the realisation of goals negotiated with the older person and her/his family, according to her/his needs and wishes.

References


Version 2 - Revisited 2004

Gerontological Nursing contributes to and often leads the interdisciplinary and multi-agency care of older people. It may be practised in a variety of settings although it is most likely to be developed within services dedicated to the care of older people.

It is a relationship-centred approach that promotes healthy ageing and the achievement of well-being in the older person and their carers, enabling them to adapt to the older personís health and life changes and to face ongoing life challenges.

To achieve this, in-depth Gerontological Nursing knowledge, skills and experience are required together with commitment to a shared vision and an explicit value base.

The principles of Gerontological Nursing practice revisited during 2004 are as follows:

Principles of Gerontological Nursing

  1. Commitment to relationship-centred care

    Recognition that the older person is best understood in the context of their relationships with others and that while the focus of care is the individual, they are part of a network of complex relationships that may impact on the personís care processes and which should be acknowledged for the most successful care to be achieved. Promoting continuity of care that values the older personís unique past, present and future individuality and respects the personís role and contribution to family and wider society.
  2. Commitment to negotiating care decisions

    Recognising that the older person has the right to make informed choices, with assistance from family members if they wish. The older persons choices and priorities are respected and may include an element of risk.
  3. Promoting dignity and respect

    Promoting dignity and respect for the older person in all aspects of care, regardless of setting, including consideration for the personís privacy and confidentiality.
  4. Maximising potential

    Recognising that caring events are also therapeutic opportunities and developing attitudes, knowledge and skills to empower the older person to live a life that reflects their individuality and enables them to achieve their potential.
  5. Commitment to an enabling environment

    Promoting a positive work culture together with a supportive physical and organisational environment in order to create an enabling living or care environment that conveys a sense of hope and achievement for the older person.
  6. Establishing equity of access

    Striving to secure on behalf of all older people the same access to services as other age groups and challenging evidence of age-discrimination.
  7. Commitment to developing innovative practice

    Adopting strategies to promote evidence based gerontological nursing, acknowledging the value of multiple forms of evidence including practice expertise. Recognising the importance of choosing to specialise in gerontological nursing as a prerequisite to successful advancements in practice.
  8. Consistency of vision

    Developing a shared care philosophy that clearly enunciates the value base of Gerontological Nursing and the standards of care older people and their families can expect.
  9. Commitment to teamworking

    Working as part of a team who recognise, seek out and respect each otherís contribution and commitment to the care of the older person. Directing the collective effort towards attaining goals negotiated with the older person and their family according to their needs and wishes.
  10. The value of reciprocity

    Recognising the value of mutual respect between all parties involved in the giving and receiving of care and the dynamic nature of the interactions in which benefits for all are appreciated.

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