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Active ageing could be defined as the safeguarding of positive prejudiced well-being, good physical, psychological, and social health along with sustained participation in an individual’s family, peer group, and community right through the process of aging (Sao Jones et al. 2017). World Health Organization, (2015) has defined active ageing as “the practice of optimizing the opportunities for participation, health, and security with the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of life as people age.” This assessment is going to discuss about active ageing along with the role of registered nurses in it.
Active ageing should be considered as an investment and not a cost. Active ageing helps in allowing an individual to understand their potential for corporal, psychological, and social well-being throughout their course of life. In active ageing, the word “active” means not only just the capability to be physically active or in participating in the labor force physically but, also the ongoing participation of the individual even in the old age in social, spiritual, civic affairs, cultural, and economic. This aims to expand the expectancy of a healthy life along with the quality of life for all the aged people (Hijas-Gomez, 2020).
In an article by Phillipson (2018) it has been discussed that maintenance of independence and autonomy as an individual starts ageing is the chief goal in the policy framework of active ageing. Ageing occurs within the milieu of others which involve family members, friends, neighbors, and work associates and this is the reason interdependence and intergenerational solidarity are considered to be an important doctrine of active ageing. However, there are also some determinants of active ageing that could potentially affect the well-being of an individual. This includes cross-cutting determinants, health and social services, behavioral determinants, some of the determinant related to individual factors, and psychological factors.
Everything comes with challenges, and there are some challenges of active ageing that could be faced while the provision of care to the aged people. The first challenge is the double burden of the disease, this result in the increase of risk of disability. The second challenge that is usually faced is the provision of care for old age population because with ageing, the most challenging thing in the health policies is to smack equilibrium among the support for self-care, informal support, and formal care (Spulber, 2019).
However, there is a policy framework that is given by the World health organization for active ageing and this includes participation, health, and security. Participation is when the labor market, education, employment, health and social policies along with the programs support the participation of aged people in cultural, socioeconomic, and spiritual activities. Because, as per the basic human rights, needs, preferences, and capacities, an aged individual will be able to continue making his productive involvement with the society as they age (Hijas-Gomez, 2020). Security is related to the policies and programs that concentrate on the financial, psychological, physical, and social security requirements along with the rights of an individual as they age. The aged people need to be certain about their care, protection, dignity in the happenings that they could not be competent enough in supporting as well as protecting themselves. The family members and the communities are sustained in labors to care for the older members of their family. (Hijas-Gomez, 2020).
Prevention of health problems in the aged people is the keystone of active ageing and the registered nurses play an important role in this. All of the nurses either registered or enrolled play a significant role in supporting and promoting active ageing for all older people. Nurses entail the indispensable expertise in clinical assessment, critical thinking, care coordination, clinical decision-making, and clinical as well as administrative leadership which is important to support older people to age well. Nurses provide support to older people across a wide range of settings. This includes community, residential care, acute care, general practice, and correctional facilities. Registered nurses in all of these settings take the lead in organizing and supervising the unlicensed staff. In many of these settings, the main focus of health care is healing rather than being anticipatory or considerate of promoting health, restricting the opportunity for treatment. More broadly, supporting the older people in promoting the health encompasses understanding the significant role that the families play and accessing suitable health as well as social care support (Kenbubpha et al. 2018).
Nurses play a significant and diverse role in the promotion of older people’s physical, mental, social, and functional engagement and wellness and in providing the high quality of safe care. They also play a significant role in the recognition and obligatory reporting of the elder abuse. In spite of whether the aged people are at home or getting services in primary care or are living in residential aged care, registered nurses are the primary health care providers for people who are ageing. For this, nurses have to understand the process of ageing and the requirements of the people who are ageing in order to smooth the progress of active ageing along with respecting their dignity and personhood. They must understand the diversity of the people ageing and their preferences regarding health promotion and care services for active ageing (Marriott-Statham et al. 2018).
They help in supporting the active ageing; the code of conduct for the registered nurses helps them in generating the professional behavior, legal requirements, and conduct expectations in all aged care nursing practice. The principles of the code of conduct are applied to any work where the nurses could use their knowledge and nursing skills, whether clinical or non-clinical (Willetts et al. 2017).
For promoting the active ageing they focus on person-centered practice, cultural practice and respectful relationships, health and wellbeing, effective communication, reflective practice skills, knowledge and skills for the aged care system, and the accessible aged care services. They play a potential role in maximizing the positive health outcomes with help of incorporating the knowledge regarding ageing process, age-related conditions, and potential illnesses and recognizing the complex interaction of chronic and acute comorbid physical and psychological conditions and their related treatments (Alvarez-Garcia, 2018).
They provide person-centered, safe, and evidence-based practice for the better health and wellbeing of the aged people and, collaborating with the individual, promoting the shared decision-making process, and delivery of the care between the individual, their family members, nominated partners, friends, and health care provider. Their effective skills help in providing the most favorable pain management and palliative care services. Inclusive assessment for the individualized recognition of patient’s needs which includes the utilization of valid as well as reliable assessment tools for facilitating nursing practices is also the duty of registered nurses (Marriott-Statham et al., 2018).
The assessment has concluded that optimizing the opportunities for participation, health, and security with the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of life as people age is active ageing and it has shown that nurses play an integral part in active ageing as well as in empowering the old age people. There are certain challenges that are often faced by the nurses but, it can also be resolved when nurses by collaborating with the staff follows appropriate policy framework and work accordingly. However, the main focus of the registered nurses should be to focus on empowering the old age people by giving them their autonomy, showing them empathy, and providing the optimal services.
Alvarez-Garcia, J., Duran-Sanchez, A., Del Rio-Rama, M.C., & Garcia-Velez, D.F. (2018). Active ageing: Mapping of scientific coverage. International Journal of Environment, 15(12), 2727. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122727
Hijas-Gomez, A. I., Ayala, A., Rodriguez-García, M. P., Rodriguez-Blazquez, C., Rodriguez-Rodriguez, V., Rojo-Perez, F., Fernandez-Mayoralas, G., Rodriguez-Laso, A., Calderon-Larranaga, A., & Forjaz, M. J. (2020). The WHO active ageing pillars and its association with survival: Findings from a population-based study in Spain. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 90, 104114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2020.104114
Kenbubpha, K., Higgins, I., Chan, S. W., & Wilson, A. (2018). Promoting active ageing in older people with mental disorders living in the community: An integrative review. International Journal of nursing Practice, 24(3), https://doi.org/10.1111/ijn.12624
Marriott-Statham, K., Mackay, M., Brennan, N., & Mackay, J. (2018). Empowering aged care nurses to deliver person-centred care: Enabling nurses to shine. Nurse Education in Practice, 31, 112–117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2018.05.014
Phillipson, C. (2018). “Active” or “precarious” ageing: On agency and empowerment in later life. Gerontologie Et Societe, 40157(3), 27-45. https://www.cairn.info/journal-gerontologie-et-societe-2018-3-page-27.htm.
Sao-José, J. M., Timonen, V., Amado, C. A., & Santos, S. P. (2017). A critique of the Active Ageing Index. Journal of Aging Studies, 40, 49–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2017.01.001
Spulber, D. (2019). Coping and resilience in life-long learning and ageing: New challenges. Geopolitical, Social Security and Freedom Journal, 2(1), https://doi.org/10.2478/gssfj-2019-0009
World health Organization. (2015). What is healthy ageing? Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/ageing/healthy-ageing/en/#:~:text=Healthy%20Ageing%20replaces%20the%20World,their%20families%2C%20communities%20and%20economies.
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