• Student Abstracts
  • 2014 Annual Conference

President's Message: "The Future is Now"

By Mary Rita Hurley, MPA, RN, FNGNA

Two interesting things have happened recently. One, I visited a high tech home in Tacoma Washington, and the other is an article I read in the March 2014 AARP magazine titled, “Is this the end of the nursing home”? Of course, I thought this was a “sign” that I needed to get up to speed with the latest technology in regards to the care of older adults.

When I attended the Northwest NGNA chapter’s bimonthly meeting at the Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Center (TLRC), we were invited to tour the TLRC Innovations Home. This home promotes safer, longer, active, independent living through the incorporation of the latest and affordable technologies. Much of what we saw was a ‘no brainer,’ for us gero nurses. For example, a jumbo remote, remote overhead lights, touch lights, faucets, PC with voice recognition, a couch cane, and more. Our group was not aware of these innovations, and we were amazed at the common sense designs and applications. There were many items that we all wanted to purchase - such as the washer/dryer combo and the robot vacuum!

As we toured the facility, the light bulb went on for me, as I realized that this technology is available for the people we care for. Most of the technology is affordable and easily purchased and installed. Because this incorporates community education, we can promote education within our respective communities and include the vendors to answer questions and make recommendations. This is nursing education and awareness. It is what we do!

One AARP article recently highlighted a system called “Lively.” You can place sensors on pillboxes, the refrigerator, microwave bathroom, and car keys then log on remotely to “see” the activity of your loved ones. Talk about peace of mind for caregivers, families, and the care team.

Given that 40% of US adults’ ages 85+ live alone, as well as a third 65 and older, it seems logical to embrace these new technologies. Currently, more than 4 in 10 US adults are caring for an adult or child with major health issues and 5-7 million are long distance caregivers. These numbers are staggering.

More and more people are embracing these new technologies. It gives older adults a chance with more confidence to live on their own, and keeps families from making the gut wrenching decision of removing a parent from their home. As gerontological nurses, we need to be aware of and recommend these devices. As “care” continues to move back into the home, we are and will be pivotal to successful aging in place. The AARP article included that Medicaid may reimburse for some aging-in-place technologies but currently Medicare does not. Why is that?

Now is the time to join our NGNA Policy Committee to begin the process of affecting change. It is time to become engaged in adding another change to our health care system. By activating our Policy Committee, we can begin research to identify cost savings to the system when correlated to the cost of alternative living situations coupled with older adult and family testimonials. Emailing and scheduling face-to face meetings with your legislators are very effective. They want to hear from their constituents; they want to hear from us. Every one of us in our respective cities should be locating our senior services organizations and identifying community agencies that have grant funding and other resources to assist families who are in greatest need. There is no one more suited for this advocate role than the gerontological nurse and our colleagues!

All the best,
Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA, FNGNA


Call for Student Poster Abstracts OPEN!

Click here to submit your abstract.

Deadline: Friday, August 22, 2014

The National Gerontological Nursing Association (NGNA) invites all undergraduate and graduate nursing students actively enrolled in a nursing program at any level to submit an abstract for a poster presentation at the Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, from October 2-4, 2014.

Abstracts are sought from undergraduate and graduate nursing students who plan to specialize in the care of older adults in all areas of clinical practice, administration, research, and education. We welcome abstracts that emphasize all settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living, home health, community health, hospice, schools of nursing, government and military, and industry.

NGNA/HIGN Upcoming Webinars

Register now for upcoming NGNA and HIGN webinars! The webinars, presented by expert faculty from NGNA and HIGN, will present clinical topics relevant to improving the delivery of healthcare to older adults, covering topics such as patient- and family-centered care approach to delirium, fall prevention, medication management, and diabetes management.

NGNA Members: Login to the NGNA website and return to this article to view a 50% discount code for NGNA members to use when registering for the webinar series.

July 24, 2014; 1:00-2:00PM ET
Health Literacy and the Older Adult

August 6, 2014, 1:00pm-2:00 ET
Aging & HIV: Implications for the Older Adult

September 3, 2014, 1:00pm ET
Mistreatment Detection and Older Adults

October 14, 2014, 1:00-2:00pm ET
Vaccination and Older Adults

November 6, 2014 1:00pm ET
Medication Compliance and Adherence

December 3, 2014
Current Controversies in Ethics, Law and Nursing- Confronting Challenges in Health Care Ethics for those Caring for Older Adults

Click here to register for a webinar.

AHRQ Webinar Series

This series of Webinars aims to provide nurse administrators and nurse educators guidance on training using the materials covered in AHRQ’s Improving Patient Safety in Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities Training Modules.

Target Audience: Nurse administrators and nurse educators who provide staff training to first-line care staff, or who work closely with staff at long-term care facilities.

Presenter: Marian D. Edmiston, DEd, MSN, RN-BC

More information and no cost registration available at: http://ce.ahrq.gov/nurses/.

Facilitated Learning to Advance Geriatrics Programs

September 19-20, 2014 | Boston, MA
October 17-18, 2014 | Worthington-Scranton, PA
February 13-14, 2014 | Boca Rotan, FL

The Facilitated Learning to Advance Geriatrics (FLAG) program is a nationally recognized faculty development experiential workshop designed for nurse educators in prelicensure programs.

To learn more about the FLAG Program, please visit http://www.flagprograms.org, or download the flyer.