NURS 6540: Week 1: Caring for Frail Elders

NURS 6540: Week 1: Caring for Frail Elders

NURS 6540: Week 1: Caring for Frail Elders

NURS 6540: Advanced Practice Care of Frail Elders | Week 1

As you get older, change is inevitable and it’s not going to get easier. So if you’re thinking about it, go for it. It’s not for everyone, but it was the right decision for me.

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—Gail Joy, geriatric patient

Gail Joy is expressing her feelings about changing her site of care. After Joy suffered from falls, she and her daughter realized that living alone was no longer an option for Joy. Joy’s needs had changed, and she required continuous care and assistance with many activities of daily living. She and her daughter explored a couple of options but felt that an assisted living retirement community would be the best site of care (Rubin, 2011). While Joy agreed that she needed to change her site of care, many geriatric patients struggle with accepting this decision. As an advanced practice nurse, you must be able to support these patients and facilitate necessary changes in their sites of care.

This week, as you begin exploring the care of frail elders, you examine the impact of changes in sites of care on geriatric patients. You also consider the impact of finances on site placement and treatment decisions. Then, in preparation for your Practicum Experience, you examine aging theories and geriatric competencies to guide the development of your practicum goals and objectives.

Learning Objectives – NURS 6540: Week 1: Caring for Frail Elders

By the end of this week, students will:

  • Evaluate the impact of changes in sites of care on elderly patients
  • Analyze the impact of financial issues on site placement and treatment decisions
  • Analyze aging theories in nursing practice*

*This Learning Objective supports assignments that are assigned this week, but due in Week 4.

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Resnick, B. (Ed.). (2016). Geriatric nursing review syllabus: A core curriculum in advanced practice geriatric nursing (5th ed.). New York, NY: American Geriatrics Society.

    • Chapter 2, “Biology” (pp. 5-14)

This chapter covers various theories of aging, including evolutionary and physiologic theories. It also examines the biology of aging, focusing on changes within specific body systems and the consequences of those changes.

    • Chapter 3 “Ethics and Law” (pp. 15-21)

This chapter explores decisional capacity in older adult patients, as well as legal and ethical issues surrounding care for older adults. It also examines decisions near the end of life, particularly with dementia patients.

    • Chapter 4, “Financing, Coverage, and Costs of Health Care” (pp. 23-35)

This chapter explores financial components of health care for older adults and describes financial aspects of health care at different sites of care.

    • Chapter 8, “Cultural Aspects of Care” (pp. 51-57)

This chapter describes cultural issues related to health care for older adults, such as language, communication, attitudes toward health care and health services, and behavior. It also defines ETHNICS, a mnemonic device for providing culturally competent care.

Houde, S., & Melillo, K. (2009). Caring for an aging population. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 35(12), 8–13.

This article proposes policy initiatives for addressing the shortage of health professionals caring for older adults. It also presents policy initiatives for improving the gerontological nursing workforce.

Watkins, L., Hall, C., & Kring, D. (2012). Hospital to home: A transition program for frail older adults. Professional Case Management, 17(3), 117–125.

This article presents a transitional care model for older adults moving from the hospital care setting to a home setting. It examines practices for maximizing health outcomes and preventing re-hospitalization.

American Federation for Aging Research. (2011). Infoaging guides: Theories of aging. Retrieved from

This guide examines theories of aging, comparing theories that are more widely accepted and those that have become less accepted. It also presents several hypotheses of aging that are currently being researched.

Document: NURS 6540 Due Date Calendar (PDF)

Document: Practicum Journal Template (Word document)

This template is provided by the School of Nursing and is designed to document practicum activities. You are required to use this template for all journal entry submissions.

Clinical Resources

Document: Nurse Practitioner (NP) Student Clinical Orientation (PowerPoint file)

Document: Practicum Manual (PDF file) :

Required Media – NURS 6540: Week 1: Caring for Frail Elders

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Introduction to primary care of frail elders [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 13:35 minutes.

In this video program, Dr. Kristen Mauk and Dr. Barbara Resnick discuss the importance of primary care for the geriatric population, as well as aging theories and other special considerations when caring for frail elders. NURS 6540: Week 1: Caring for Frail Elders


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