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Identifying and Preventing Common Risk Factors in the Older Adult

presented by Constance Sheets, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Constance Sheets receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course. Non-Financial: Constance Sheets has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 76 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 45 Minutes

As people age, they are more at risk for disease and disability from the natural decline in body systems. Nurses need to be aware of factors that put the older adult at risk for functional decline and disease. Once risk factors are identified, poor outcomes can be minimized through interventions that improve an older adult's well-being, quality of life, and self-care. This course will focus on recommendations that promote the health of the older adult. Areas such as physical activity, nutrition, tobacco use, alcohol use, heart disease, injury prevention, safe medication use, and immunizations will be addressed.

Meet Your Instructor

Constance Sheets, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC

Dr. Sheets has taught in the undergraduate nursing program at Valparaiso University since 2004. She is certified in gerontology and has an extensive home health background. She has co--authored articles that have been published in Rehabilitation Nursing and Nursing Education Perspectives, and has been a content reviewer for a gerontological nursing textbook. Professor Sheets has…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Health promotion activities can improve quality of life, prevent disease, and improve functional capacity for the older adult. This chapter will define health promotion and disease prevention through screening recommendations. The U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and Healthy People 2020 will be discussed.

2. Physical Activity and Nutrition

Remaining physically active and maintaining proper nutrition can prevent disease and disability. How the nurse can promote health through increased physical activity and healthy nutrition will be discussed, and screening recommendations will be noted.

3. Safety and Polypharmacy

Assessing the environment for any safety concerns can prevent injuries in the elderly. Knowing how medications interact and providing a thorough assessment of how errors can be made in the regimen is imperative. How the nurse can promote health through identifying safety issues and potential for medication errors because of polypharmacy will be discussed, and screening recommendations will be noted.

4. Tobacco Use, Alcohol Abuse, and Neglect

Nurses should provide education on smoking cessation and avoidance of alcohol overuse to improve outcomes in patients. Nurses should also be aware of signs of neglect in order to intervene appropriately. How the nurse can promote health through identifying alcohol and tobacco use and factors that put the older adult at risk for potential abuse and neglect will be discussed, and screening recommendations will be noted.

5. Immunizations and Mental Health

Immunizations can prevent disease in older adults, and mental health is an essential aspect of holistic care. How the nurse can promote health by providing appropriate immunizations and mental health screening will be discussed, and screening recommendations will be noted.

6. Heart Disease and Other Chronic Illnesses

For nurses to promote health and prevent disease, they need to understand what factors put an older adult at risk. How the nurse can encourage health through identifying the factors that cause heart disease, as well as screening and preventative measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk of complications will be discussed. Other chronic illnesses, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, and thyroid disease, will also be identified along with screening recommendations.

7. Self-Management

Nurses want their patients to be independent in managing their chronic conditions. This chapter will describe some strategies the nurse can employ to assist the older adult in managing their care independently.

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