Nursing Programs and Supportive Housing Sites: Mutual Benefits of Multigenerational Engagement Through Innovative Academic-Practice Partnerships
Repository Posting Date2017-06-05T20:50:25Z
Author DetailsMaureen F. O'Shea, DNP, AGPCNP-BC; Mary McCarthy; Barbara J. Pinchera; Margaret Sullivan
Lead Author Sigma AffliationTheta-at-Large
Level of EvidenceN/A
Through a collaborative partnership, traditional baccalaureate undergraduate nursing students, together with residents of an older adult community with supportive services, engage in purposeful, semi-structured activities while considering factors that influence individual, community and population health throughout the lifespan. Participants utilize evidence-based assessment tools and explore aspects of individualized aging, complexity of care, and personal vulnerability during life transitions. The focus on the five domains of wellness: physical, social, cognitive, spiritual, and emotional. A range of topics include: medication management, health assessment, disease prevention and management, home safety, falls assessment, psycho-social well being, delirium, dementia and sensory impairments, depression and anxiety management, and end of life issues.
Activities are designed to foster an increased appreciation and enhanced awareness of the impact of evolving demographic trends locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally in relation to healthcare policies and systems, as well as to promote consideration of careers in gerontology.
Specific goals of this partnership include:
• Increasing nursing students’ awareness of shifting population demographics as a key factor in the evolving need for highly skilled geriatric specialized nurses
• Dispelling stereotypes of aging
• Enhancing understanding of the aging process from a whole-person perspective, including physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual health
• Promoting meaningful engagement through intergenerational experiences
• Identifying evidence-based best practices in geriatric care
• Increasing nursing students’ consideration of careers in gerontology
• Providing opportunities for seniors to share their experiences and impact the lives of young adults as well as assist in educating the next generation of nurses.
Nursing students and older adults gain further appreciation for viewing health through a wider lens. Vitality is possible at any age, and so is living a healthy, active life with chronic conditions. When students interact with residents who are in their eighties, nineties and one hundreds, who are living independently in a supportive environment, they are able to dispel the negative connotations often associated with aging stereotypes.
Discussion regarding shared commonalities, as well as comparing and contrasting similarities and differences, enriches the learning experience for nursing students and older adults in this innovative, non-traditional practice partnership.