According to the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) (2011), healthy ageing among Canada’s growing ageing demographic is imperative in effectively managing the increasing health system pressures. The position statement “seniors and healthy ageing” highlights that seniors are the fastest growing population, living longer, healthier and are becoming economically stable (CARNA, 2011). Therefore, the role of the Registered nurse is crucial in managing the health outcomes for this population. The following paragraphs will discuss the core ideas and analysis of CARNA’s statement on healthy ageing among seniors, our personal position and rationale behind this topic, and how this knowledge will be valuable to our subsequent practice.
Summary and Association’s Position
The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (2011) believe that “registered nurses have the skill, expertise and capacity to take a leadership role in supporting and enhancing client-centered care across the continuum of healthcare experiences and services” (p. 4). This position statement pertaining to healthy ageing of seniors further discusses the relationship between the amount of healthcare resources being utilized due to the physiological changes of ageing and development needed within the healthcare system to manage these increasing demands. CARNA believes registered nurses are favourable and accessible to the public which helps in fostering a trusting relationship. With registered nurses being an initial point of contact for seniors seeking medical care, nurses are required to demonstrate their leadership roles in the provision of care, comfort, and resource mobilization to ensure optimal health and good quality life among this group of people. According to this document, supporting healthy ageing among Canadian seniors is to “balance curative care with health promotion and disease prevention” (p. 6), which is pivotal to the role of the registered nurse.
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Personal Position and Rationale
We enthusiastically support CARNA’s position in regard to these preliminary changes in policy that focus on contributing to a healthy ageing in the Canadian society. Systematic reforms within the community and continuing care settings along with therapeutic care will enable the nurse to explore social, physical, emotional, spiritual, and physiological needs of seniors (Nilsson, Edvardsson, & Rushton, 2019). We believe the leadership role of the registered nurse is a necessary approach to care that is centred around the client. Healthy local policy and community based health promotion in relation to the social determinants of health will aid in reducing long-term chronic disabilities among seniors, thus resulting in lower healthcare costs (CARNA, 2011). An increase in the registered nurse staffing ratios within the clinical and community setting is valuable to support the care addressing the determinants among seniors as well as future change to policy and programs (CARNA, 2011). Equal nurse staff ratio ensures senior’s safety where they are cared for by experienced and well trained registered nurses and prompt nursing interventions that will help seniors achieve their goals.
Relevance to Practice
This position statement will inform our nursing practice through the coordination of client care in conjunction with periodic assessment, modification, and evaluation that will be needed from nursing advocates to constantly adapt to the changing needs of this demographic within the healthcare system (Jeste et al., 2016). By recognizing the role of the registered nurse, we will take the initiative to collaborate with other healthcare disciplines to address the needs of seniors. This will enable us to perceive seniors from a distal point to assess their overall wellbeing and take into consideration seniors care preferences and how we can work as partners in assisting seniors age happily.
Happy aging can be built through structured interventions, however, it is crucial registered nurses are committed to providing resources and support for healthy ageing. Registered nurses have different skill sets that should be blended in by effective leadership to yield effective ageing outcomes. Jeste et al. (2016) rightly concludes that helping communities to develop more aging-in-place initiatives will contribute to the coordination of client care. Healthy ageing will become more effective when registered nurses, seniors and other health care discipline are considered as interdependent to produce more effective results as an integral team.