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Introduction to Specialty Practice: Care of the Older Person



Summary of media item..

Review of Aged Care Literature.

Knowledge gaps identified from review literature.

Implications for the older person.

Importance of new graduate nurses.



Introduction to Care of the Older Person

As per the Australian Government (2020), the process of providing care to older peoples is termed as aged care. The aged care can either be provided at the homes of older people or at the nursing homes, which are built to provide quality care to the homeless older adults. There are many governments as well as private healthcare homes that are built for providing aged care to older citizens. The aim of this paper is to provide a synopsis of a media item that is based on aged care and to compare its claims with the current aged care literature. It also aims at detecting the information gap related to aged care and the ways in which this gap can be filled in the future to improve aged care services for older people.

Summary of The Media Item

According to a popular media article "Australia: Older People in Aged Care Drugged Up (2019)", various healthcare professionals and registered nurses are using the medications as chemical restraints to control the patients of dementia. More than 35 aged care facilities in Australia are using an overdose of medications to control the patients of dementia instead of providing them self-centred care. This article is based on the various interview conducted with family members of older people, doctors, registered nurses and other healthcare experts. The author arguments in this article that the quality of aged care provided to older people is decreasing in various parts of Australia. Moreover, the aged quality of aged care services is also reducing with the increased number of older populations. The author has focused that the Australian Government should hire more efficient healthcare professionals for supporting aged care of older adults. The Government should also include special training programs for healthcare experts regarding the treatment of dementia people without using chemical restrains. The author has also mentioned in the article that some of the older people suffering from dementia are given antipsychotics which are banned in Australia, and the Australian Government does not permit the healthcare experts to suggest antipsychotics to the patients of dementia. (Human Rights Watch, 2019).

Review of Aged Care Literature

The media article strongly claims that Australian health care experts are using an overdose of medications, chemical restrains, and antipsychotics to control the behaviour of older citizens suffering from dementia. As per Rajha et al. (2018), the Australian Government recognizes patients who have dementia and tries to improve their social and economic conditions. According to a survey, around 50 percent of the older people who have dementia remain undiagnosed due to which they are not provided with enough care. Some of the barriers due to which patient's remain undiagnosed are poor healthcare system, economic conditions, communication difficulties and lack of knowledge. The Australian Government has launched a program named the National Dementia Support Program (NDSP) that aims at providing support to the patients of dementia and their families.

It is estimated that by the year 2030, around 550,000 people will be suffering from dementia. This program helps the patients of dementia in getting the healthcare services that can improve their quality of life. Australian Government has also launched the Dementia and Aged Care Services to provide support to the older Australians who are at higher risks of dementia (Australian Government, 2020). Moreover, the Specialist, Dementia Care Unit, started by the Australian Government also aims at providing care and support for the people who have psychological symptoms of dementia. Dementia is a disease that affects the older people primarily and this is the reason that aged care is important for its treatment. All these steps taken by the Australian Government represent that it is implementing many programs and policies for aged care.

As per Health Direct (2018), dementia is the largest cause of disability in Australian citizens; especially the ones who are above 65 years of age. It is also the second leading cause of the death of Australian older citizens. The Federal Government has given a fund of $ 5 billion to the Australian Government for aged care and to ensure better ageing care is provided to the Australian citizens (Dementia Australia, 2018). Although the Australian Government is taking various steps and approaches to reduce the population of dementia suffering Australians, but still it is unable to do so. The psychotropic drugs help healthcare professionals to control the behaviour and psychological symptoms of dementia patients as they affect the mental state of the users. However, the evidences shows that the consumption of these drugs is harmful in most of the cases and can also deteriorate the mental well-being of the patient (Australian Government, 2020). There is no strong evidence that can suggest that author's claim is true because the Australian Government has banned the use of psychotropic for treating dementia patients. Moreover, it takes a keen interest in providing good quality care and support to the Australian citizens. One of the major goals of the Australian Government is to improve its aged care services so as to improve the well-being of its older citizens. The reviewed literature does not support the claims mentioned by the author of the article "Australia: Older People in Aged Care Drugged Up (2019)".

Knowledge Gaps Identified from Review Literature

The reviewed literature suggests that the Government of Australia is taking various steps to provide good quality aged care to its citizens. However, the review literature lacks information about the evaluation and monitoring of the various programs established by the Australian Government. For example, it provides information about the programs that have been started. Still, there is no information about the ways in which these programs have reduced the deaths of older citizens who had dementia. Moreover, the review of the literature does not clearly mention the statistical data about the population of dementia patients who showed improvement due to these programs and services. There is no record about the number of people who died in Australian aged care homes due to overdose of dementia medications; chemical restrains and psychotropic, which can support the author's claims.

Implications for The Older Person

The knowledge from the review literature can be used by the Government and healthcare professionals in providing better quality care to the patients. The information about some of the aged care homes and healthcare professionals who are using psychotropic can be used to stop them from doing so. Moreover, the Government should completely stop the manufacturing of psychotropic drugs to avoid such cases. This will improve patient care, and patient outcomes as healthcare professionals will use only centred-care methods to provide care to dementia patients. They will limit the use of medications to control the behaviour of older people. This can provide better aged care services to older citizens and can also improve their physical and mental well-being. The Government should provide more funds specifically for the monitoring and evaluation of the programs and policies that have been developed to promote aged care for older people. The older person should also take more interest in collecting information about the different policies and programs developed by the Government for promoting aged care. All these steps will help in reducing the number of deaths of older citizens due to dementia. The older citizens can lead a high-quality life by taking active participation in these programs and policies.

Importance of New Graduate Nurses

The information about the Government's steps to treat dementia programs is important for all registered nurses. It helps them to provide better quality care to older citizens who have dementia. Registered nurses must be aware of the negative effects of psychotropic on the mental conditions of older people. They should be aware of the optimal doses of the medications that are given to dementia people. Moreover, registered nurses should take more participation in the programs that aim at providing aged care to older people. This will help them in providing self-centred care to patients of dementia. The information obtained from the article about the use of psychotropic in controlling dementia patients will help the registered nurses to understand that these steps are against humanity and low. The goal of the registered nurses should be to increase patient's outcomes through care and not through the use of illegal drugs such as psychotropic. All these learning outcomes will help registered nurses in adopting better strategies while looking after older citizens.

Conclusion on Introduction to Specialty Practice: Care of the Older Person

This paper concludes that aged care is important for older people, and especially the ones who suffer from dementia. There are certain aged care homes where an overdose of medications and psychotropic are used to control dementia patients. This can be harmful to their mental well-being; thus, the Government should ban the manufacturing of such drugs. This paper also reveals that the Australian Government is taking various steps and developing many programs to support its older citizens. However, it fails to monitor and evaluate the success rate of these approaches due to which there is no significant decrease in the population of older citizens who die every year due to dementia. There is a need that the government should take more interest in evaluating the effects of these programs on the life of older citizens. Improved care can be provided to older people if these people acquire more knowledge about the different programs and policies related to aged.

References for Introduction to Specialty Practice: Care of the Older Person

Australian Government. 2020. National Dementia Support Program (NDSP). [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 4 June 2020]

Australian Government. 2020. Prescribing psychotropics in aged care. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 4 June 2020]

Australian Government. 2020. What is aged care? [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 4 June 2020]

Dementia Government. 2018. Dementia Australia welcomes $5 billion Federal Government funding for aged care. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 4 June 2020]

Health Direct. 2018. Dementia statistics. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 4 June 2020]

Human Rights Watch. 2019. Australia: Older People in Aged Care Drugged Up. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 4 June 2020]

Rajha, M., Laver, K., Comans, T. & Corty, M. 2018, 'What Does the Australian General Public Know About Treatments for Dementia? A Population Survey', Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, vol. 4, no. 8, pp. n.d. 10.1177/2333721418793442

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