It’s pretty much a given that private home care is the preferred option, hands down, over moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Nothing beats the comfort and familiarity of home, where treasured memories made with cherished loved ones linger in every room.
But what many seniors and their families don’t realize is that regular in-home care, as good as it is, can be enhanced even further with the addition of a professional geriatric care nurse. For those unfamiliar with geriatric care, we’ve provided some answers to frequently asked questions to help.
What is geriatric care?
Geriatric care, in a nutshell, is the specialized health care provided to elderly patients. This includes not only preventative care, but also caring for the symptoms of an illness or a condition the elder may be struggling with or develop as part of a new diagnosis.
For what kinds of conditions or illnesses do geriatric nurses provide care?
Obviously, we all understand that changes occur in a person as his or her body ages, and many times, those changes lead to chronic illnesses that are particularly prevalent in the elderly. Geriatric nursing care is especially beneficial for those experiencing such conditions as:
- Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders
- Hearing and vision loss
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Cardiac disease including congestive heart failure
- COPD or other lung conditions
- Parkinson’s disease
What are the responsibilities of a geriatric nurse?
Generally, geriatric care nurses are responsible for evaluating, monitoring and providing specialized nursing care for the elderly and/or ensuring that those evaluations and care needs are carried out. They ensure that medication, activities and treatments are appropriate, with responses and side-effects monitored and responded to in a timely manner.
A qualified geriatric nurse will develop a detailed care plan for each patient with the physician’s approval. This care plan will define the activities and treatments that are ordered by the physician, are appropriate for the patient and administrated or guided by the staff. In a home care setting, this care plan can be quite complex and will be expanded to meet all of the patient’s social, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. In addition to directing staff to give mediations and provide treatments, and provide exercises, bathing, cleaning and cooking, the geriatric care nurse ensure that, as possible, the care plan includes visits to the beauty parlor, a grandson’s birthday party, or the patient’s worship service.
Older patients and their families often need help and direction in coping with the onset of age-related illnesses, help which a qualified geriatric nurse can provide. At Nightingale Homecare, our foundation of care is geriatric nursing. We’re owned and operated by registered nurses, and offer a full range of medical care services, such as infusions, ventilator/respiratory services, wound care, blood draws, and more. We invite you to contact us to learn more, or to request a free in-home consultation to allow us to evaluate the needs of your senior loved one and advise you on how our Arizona private home care services can improve his or her quality of life.