• January 7, 2017
  • Maddox Smith
  • 0

Ageing Population Australia

Ageing Population AustraliaMany factors like labour force, income security, health and housing are significants for ageing population in Australia. For increased ill health some factors like increased older are and life spans are only responsible. Ageing population means when median age in a country or region increases, life expectancy increases or decline in fertility rate. It is also observed that the number of older person increases rapidly in developed countries as compared to the developing nations. Between 1994 to 2014 in Australia proportion of aged 65 and above increases from 11.8% to 14.7 %. As nurses is the mainstream of health care professional but the carrier of Registered Nurses affected by the ageing population. For quality of care the Registered   Nurses will face lot of problems while providing services to the older people (ABS, 2012). It is very important for the Registered Nurses to know about the ageing process and complications which are associated with it and relevant nursing care. There are some diseases which are common among ageing population for multiple comorbidities like chronic diseases and condition of dementia. Nurses needs to be well skilled in communication, holistic assessment care planning for provide accurate and support to the ageing populations. An ageing population on Australian health care system and workforce will be discussed in this essay and also focused on the knowledge and skills which are requires by the Registered Nurses to provide quality of care on ageing population and also explore about the strengths based approach. The role of Registered Nurses, skills and appropriate care of ageing population in the Australia are the main objective which will be discussing in this essay. Nurses are skilled or trained in caring for sick or injured people. Nurses play a vital role in patient care as caregivers, as decision maker, as patient advocate and as communicator. In Australia those who have completed a board approved courses in the field of nursing are known as Registered Nurses (Stanley and Sherrat , 2010).

On health care system and workforce there are lot of implication which are made by ageing population in Australia. In Australia the number of older people growing rapidly as the baby boomers will all moved past age 65 and above (Worsley, Wang and Hunter, 2010). Those who are born between 1946 and 1964 are known as Baby boomers. As surveyed before the total fertility rate was around 3.5 babies per women in Australia between the year 1950 and 1960 (ABS, 2012). As surveyed by AIHW (2016) between the year 1964 and 2014 the percent of people who aged 65 and above was more than double. The group of ageing population will increase from 3.2 million in 2012 to between 5.7 million and 5.8 million in 2031, and 9.0 million and 11.1 million in year 2061 as predicated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Between 1950 and 1970 Australia gained about 2.4 million as new settler who signified as ‘nation builders’. The main factors for recent growing ageing population in Australia were immigration in post war decades. Mortality and life expectancy increased, was the another reasons for growth of ageing population in Australia. The invention of new drugs and medical technologies allows the people to live longer in the Australia (CDC, 2013). For promoted good health and increased mortality like vaccines, healthier mothers and babies, family planning, reduce smoking, infection diseases control, safer and healthier foods were some of the achievements made in 20thcentury. As baby boomers have higher service and goods demand, higher service expectation, higher rates of divorce, higher home ownership and rented as well as sexual relationship are compared by previous generations (Hugo, 2014). There are some reasons for increases life expectancy to the baby boomers like decreased smoking rate, higher rate of private health cover, higher affluence and prosperity etc. Baby boomers are responsible for lot of chronic diseases because they have adopted higher incidence of obesity and increasing sedentary life styles (AIHW, 2016). Some diseases like arthritis and other are hypertensive diseases, heart related diseases, diabetes, hearing loss, stroke and vascular diseases and osteoporosis are the diseases which commonly seen in ageing population. Because of increased ageing population in Australia, it is very important to provide care help at home besides traditional aged care homes. As per Australian Government when ageing population stays in their own homes longer which are help in homes, after hospital care, respite care, residential care services then Department of Social Services provide different type of care facilities. There are some several services which include personal care, meals, transport, domestic help, social support, counselling and support as a nursing care. For prevention of chronic disease then primary health care played a very important role. There are role for the nurses and for primary health care professional who includes help management support, education on diseases, education on risk factor, counselling, nutrition, stress management and monitoring blood pressures etc. To provide support and care to the ageing population nurses played a vital role. For provide better provide better care to the ageing population nurses need to develop skills like advance clinical and management training because the demand of nursing workforce increases as number of ageing population also increases (Fortin et al, 2013).

To provide evidence based safe, quality and responsible care to the baby boomers then registered nurses should have some valuable skills and knowledge (Reed, 2012). As the nurses should provide information about health issues, services and availability of care and also Registered Nurses who completed their graduation after 2016 should have knowledge about service providers like local GP, Eye and dental specialist. There are some skills which are essential in nursing professional like effective time management, maintaining patient safety and accurate care. To make effective decisions and create positive emotions it is necessary to have effective time management, intervention and accuracy diagnosis as per Teng, Hsiao and Chou (2012). To reduce adverse events and injury patient safety is also very important. As baby boomers have higher rate of education and access of information, then nurses need to use evidence based practice. To improve the quality of care, cost limitations and increased patient then evidence based practice in very important tool for nursing practice.  To explain the reasons for the procedure and to motivate themselves a graduate nurse also needs to have the skills. It is very helpful for the nurses to have a motivational interview with their patient, which allows the patient to adopt the changes (Fortin, 2013).

While providing care to the ageing population, graduate registered nurses needs to have skills and knowledge like holistic approach, assessment skills, chronic disease and customer service. To identify the factors like physical, social and emotional well being of the patient and interrelation nurses must be well skilled. To identify what is normal or not, assessment skill is very important factor. Assessment like cognitive abilities assessment, stress and abuse assessment and functional assessment to the ageing population are the different type of assessment which registered nurse needs to perform (Savundranayagam, 2012) and to perform these assessment nurses needs to develop unique techniques. For example, nurses needs to use PQRST techniques while doing pain assessment. To fulfil the satisfaction then graduate registered nurses needs to provide excellent customer service to the baby boomers.  Bedside shift report, hourly rounding with the use of whiteboards, communication and post discharge phone calls are the main customer services in the hospital. It is necessary for a graduate registered nurse to have knowledge about chronic diseases and their management because baby boomers have higher prevalence of chronic diseases (Weigand, 2013). According to Albright, overweight, stress and poor oral health are only responsible for some of the chronic diseases like diabetes and Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. According to this, nurses must be educated and trained about healthy diet habits, stress management techniques and physical exercise oral hygiene.

To work with individuals, groups, families and communities then strengths based approach is very important perspective which describes about how environment and other factors influence older people lives. As per Hirst, Lane and Stares, this only perspective which were focused on the potentials, strengths, interest, knowledge, abilities and capacities of the patients, rather than deficits or limits. To deal with the challenges and to meet the personal then the strengths based approach is very helpful as per Gottlieb (2014) and it also helps to convert the strengths or turning weakness into strength. To promote health and to facilitate healing between person and nurse then it works as a communication tool.

In nursing strengths based approach is very useful approach in various ways. Strengths based approach helps nurses to acquire new skills as well as person centred planning and care. For the nurses strengths based approach is the source of information as well as influences the environment and relationships. Gottlieb, (2014) also describes that nurse feels inspired and empowered after using strengths based approach and its values. This approach also recognizes nursing specific expertise and enables nurses to have a great control over their practice and improves nurse satisfaction (Gottlieb, 2014). It is to be understood here that Australian population is increasingly getting diverse and it needs some specific changes in the way aged care is planned for the population of 65 years and above. There are cultural and community based needs of patients and each type is defining aged care in their own ways. In this case, role of a nurse suddenly changes from a disciplinarian to a support provider and they aim to provide comfort and mental peace to the patient during their elder days. One approach which is used by the nurses is to offer them a comforting advices and solution to their doubts and their mental dilemmas. Nurses can play a role of an advisor here and provide them assurance that what decisions they made in their life were the best possible decision according to that circumstance (Nolan, 2004). Nurse’s role should include educating the patient’s family and modifying their behavior to ensure that their behavior should be positive and encouraging.

To the patient strengths based approach is very beneficial. It reduces the power between nurses and patient as well as increases empowerment, self efficacy and cultural competency to the ageing population (Scerra, 2012). To promote hope, behaviours, health and quality of life as well as increase self control and cope with problems, then strengths based approach is very useful. Strengths based approach increases self management, confidence and ability of choosing and also beneficial side to patient. To achieve anticipated goals and establish desired outcomes as well as increases hope and promote self healing then strengths based practice improves self efficacy.  Strengths based approach also promotes self determination and increases the resiliency and participation (Hirst, Lane and Stares, 2013).

Aged care facilities in Australia are designed in a state of the art manner where infrastructure availability is world class and standard of care is one of the best in health care industry, however problem which is commonly observed in current aged care system is lack of human resources, trained staff who can take care of various needs of a challenged age old person while at the same time Australia also faces a problem of attitude towards aged care in country (Productivity Commission, 2011).  Aged care facilities are commonly referred as a ‘home’ for old age people and this has a negative connotation attached to it. It is felt that old age people are sent to a home or they prefer a home when their family is not able to take care of them or they have no one to take care of them. Removing this negative connotation with aged care is also a challenge for nursing professionals (Byrne, et al. 2014). Over the years government worked towards improvement of facilities, infrastructure, development of standards and state of the art medical care facilities in aged care home, but no emphasis was made on improving their image in common population. They are still considered as a place where people put their elderly in condition when they don’t want to take care of them, this image created a barrier for people who actually needed specialized and professional care. It is because of this image still people avoid taking facilities of aged care in Australia who actually need it and it is filled by many elderly people who don’t need aged care but they are staying there on pre text of being homeless and jobless (Kardamanidis, et al. 2007).

REFERENCES

  • Kardamanidis K, Da Cunha C, Taylor L, Jorm L. (2007) Hospital costs of older people in New South Wales in the last year of life. MJA; 187 (7): 383-386.
  • Byrne, D. Et al. (2014) A Solution to the Shortage of Nursing Faculty Awareness and Understanding of the Leadership Style of the Nursing Department Head, Nurse Educator Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 107-112.
  • Byrne, D. Et al. (2014) A Solution to the Shortage of Nursing Faculty Awareness and Understanding of the Leadership Style of the Nursing Department Head, Nurse Educator Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 107-112.
  • Albright, J. W. (2010). Interactions of overweight, poor oral health, and stress related to chronic disease in an aging population. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, 2010, 1-6. doi:10.1155/2010/614814
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Maddox Smith

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