KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Future Geriatric Care Should Focus On Systems, Not Technology, Say Nurses

Nurse.com: "The most important advances in geriatric care, say gerontological nurse researchers and practitioners, are not new technologies and procedures but changes in thinking about older patients. ... Although evidence shows elderly people benefit from caregivers who understand the needs of their age group, less than 1% of nurses have training in geriatric care, according to the Institute of Medicine's 2008 report 'Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce.'"

Some are promoting "an increasing role for nurse-centered models of mental health care in nursing homes, with geropsychiatric nurses training staff to make assessments, provide interventions and offer activities to promote mental health." In the future, "Baby boomers are expected to demand as many choices as possible, but an obstacle to person-centered, long-term care, whether in the home or at a facility, is cost." The population of Americans over 65 is expected to double between 2005 and 2030 (Domrose, 10/25).

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