Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Maintaining Older Adult Functional Status: Increasing Healthcare Ageism Awareness and Patient Mobility
by Grigsby, Shelia, D.N.P., McKendree University, 2019, 162; 13878710
Abstract (Summary)

Hospitalization presents a higher risk for decreased functional status in older adults, making it important to decrease the vulnerability of hospitalized older adults. Functional decline from the baseline can occur by hospital day two (Nigolian, 2015), and 28% or more of necessary care may be left incomplete (Lucero, Lake, & Aiken, 2010). Ageism may cause an iatrogenic effect on the care of older adults by healthcare staff, adding to necessary care being left incomplete. An opportunity exists to reach healthcare staff through ageism and older adult mobility education training.

This project captured healthcare staff on two monitored medical-surgical units, providing education on ageism and older adult functional mobility. The increased participant knowledge and awareness of older adult care resulted in decreased ageism and increased compliance with an older adult mobility program. Ageism awareness was measured in the healthcare staff by Kogan’s Attitude Toward Old People tool (Kogan, 1961). The older adult population was able to return to the same level of care prior to hospitalization with increased mobility and normalized ADLs (normal routine) while hospitalized. A secondary effect of having a normalized routine was a decreased length of stay.

To decrease suboptimal care episodes and improve older adult functional outcomes, a culture of mobility was created by owning responsibility for patient ambulation. Nurse leaders were situated to nurture a positive culture of mobility and decreased ageism, leading the way for the multidisciplinary team. Mobility allowed the older adult to maintain the functional activity required to remain independent and return to their prehospital status. Maintaining functional status in the older adult benefited the healthcare staff and the patient as they partnered on this journey.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Piontek, Amy
Commitee: Pendleton, Michelle, Thompson, Mary Ann
School: McKendree University
Department: Nursing and Health Professions
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Ageism, Functional mobility, Geriatric, Mobility protocol, Older adult
Publication Number: 13878710
ISBN: 978-1-392-16132-6
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