How are Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners Better Suited to Take Care of Your Elderly Parents Than General Nurses?
You have a lot of options when it comes to caring for your aging parents. You could hire a private home nurse or put them in an assisted living facility. Then there's the option of hiring an adult gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP). As their name suggests, AGNPs specialize in treating and caring for elderly patients.
They're trained in dealing with older adults' specific needs and issues so much that they often work exclusively with elderly patients. Let's take a closer look at what makes AGNPs such valuable resources for families like yours:
What Do Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioners Do?
Adult gerontological nurse practitioners (AGNPs) go through a specialized program to become experts in gerontology. They care for elderly patients with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease. AGNPs also work with older adults having acute problems, such as falls or hip fractures.
As an expert in caring for the elderly, an AGNP can help your family identify long-term goals for your parents' health and safety. Additionally, if you need assistance with medical decision-making for your aging loved one, an AGNP may be well suited to provide that support by consulting with other medical professionals.
AGNPs have the same scope of practice as physician assistants. Therefore, while they are not medical doctors, they can provide many of the same services.
They can perform physical examinations, diagnose patients, and order tests. They also can write prescriptions and give some medications. An AGNP will likely work closely with a doctor or nurse practitioner to ensure your elderly loved one receives quality care.
An AGNP is better suited to care for your elderly parents than a general nurse. AGNPs are educated in gerontology, meaning they have a Master of Science in Nursing in gerontology. They also have at least two years of clinical experience and the required hours to be an AGNP.
In addition to specialized education and training, they can provide more comprehensive care by seeing patients with multiple medical issues.
The job market for gerontology NP programs is growing rapidly as more people age in the US. According to the US Census Bureau, there will be around 77 million people above 65 compared to 76.5 million under 18 by 2034. It means that there will be more elderly people than young in the country. It implies that will be a high demand for professional nurses to take on this specialized type of work.
The adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs will prepare nurses to work with the elderly in different settings, including hospitals, home health agencies, and nursing homes. The highly specialized curriculum combines classroom learning with hands-on training in clinical settings such as hospitals.
They learn how to assess older adults' needs and provide care that addresses their specific concerns. Also, they learn how to communicate effectively with patients and their families.
Focus on Acute Care and Chronic Diseases
Unlike a general nurse, AGNPs are trained to deal with not just acute care but also chronic diseases and their treatments. As a result, they have more advanced skills in diagnosing and treating patients having one or several chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and kidney failure.
AGNPs are trained in gerontology, which means they are more likely to understand the specific needs of the elderly population. As a result, they can provide additional services such as assisting patients with meal preparation and helping them manage their finances better by providing them with information about social security benefits.
They are also well-versed in providing hospice services to patients. According to Statista, in 2020, around 1.61 million people in the US were served with hospice services. In addition, AGNPs are trained to provide care for patients who are terminally ill. For example, they can assist them with pain management and other symptoms of a chronic condition or terminal illness.
Greater Knowledge About End of Life Care
Although any nurse can care for your parent, AGNPs have special education in gerontology. It means they have more experience with chronic diseases and palliative care than a general nurse would. In addition to providing overall medical care, these nurses also ensure you understand your parent's wishes for end-of-life treatment. It is an essential part of their job description.
AGNPs are trained to deal with acute and chronic illness and have more experience than general nurses in helping older adults manage pain caused by chronic conditions. An AGNP can give your loved one the best possible chance of staying healthy at home by teaching them how to manage their condition daily.
Commitment to the Population of Elderly Patients
If you are a caring, dedicated adult seeking the best for your elderly parents, then you need to know about an AGNP. These nurses have committed to caring for seniors and improving their quality of life. In addition, AGNPs have received extra training in working with the elderly population.
They have years of experience caring for older people's health problems and understand what it means to be elderly in today's society. However, involving an ANGP can be an additional financial burden to some extent because the average annual salary of AGNPs is approximately $102,817 in the US, as per Salary.com.
AGNPs recognize that aging is a normal process that can be challenging but rewarding. They understand what it means to grow old and how best to support those experiencing this part of life. That's why they've chosen this career path to help make life easier for those struggling with aging, like loss of mobility or Alzheimer's disease.
Adult gerontology nurses are often referred to as "geriatric" nurses. It is because they provide care for patients 65 years of age and older. However, they also work with younger people who are experiencing the effects of aging, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Dementia is becoming common. According to the WHO, Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, contributing to 60-70% of cases. These patients need extra care that needs specialized training and experience. AGNPs are trained specifically to work with people suffering from dementia.
Your Elderly Parents Deserve an AGNP If You Want the Best for Them
If you want to ensure your elderly parents are as well taken care of as possible, an AGNP is the best option. AGNPs are specially trained to care for the elderly and have more experience in chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, and cancer than most other nurses. They also tend to work longer hours, sometimes 24/7, which means they can provide more consistent care when needed.
AGNPs are also more likely than other nurses to have experience with end-of-life care. It is an important consideration since many older adults will eventually require hospice or palliative care services as they near death.
If you want to ensure that your loved ones get the best care possible while also focusing on preventative measures against future illnesses, this would be a great option for them.