Why Is Geriatric Nursing Important?


Quick Answer

Geriatric nursing is important, because older adults comprise more than one-third of hospitalized patients in the United States, as of 2015, indicating an increasing demand for nurses who specialize in elderly care, reports NurseTogether. Patients age 65 and above account for around 70 percent of home care visits and half of all hospital admissions. Geriatric nurses undergo special training to meet the health needs of seniors who require physical and mental care.

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Full Answer

While many patients are seniors, only about 1 percent of nurses are specifically certified to care for older adults, notes ExploreHealthCareers.org. As of 2015, the U.S. Census predicts that more than 88 million people, or around 20 percent of the U.S. population, are going to reach the age of 65 and older by 2050. The aging population calls for a higher number of geriatric nurses in hospitals, senior centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other health care facilities. Many medical facilities particularly need bilingual nurses, especially those who speak Spanish and English.

Geriatric nurses help improve the physical and mental health conditions of older patients to enable them to live active, independent lifestyles, explains ExploreHealthCareers.org. They may evaluate the mental status and cognitive abilities of patients, understand their complex health issues, educate them about health topics, and manage medications. They also help create appropriate health care regimens, such as diet changes and exercise routines.

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