Nursing Excellence; In this study the agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has award Penn State’s College of Nursing and its collaborators $3,750,000 to support medically underserved regions throughout rural Pennsylvania. This funding will support the development of educational programming and training for rural-based healthcare providers and caregivers, enabling them to deliver more age-friendly care.
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania reports that 48 of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania are rural, with growth projections for the entire state population at 5% by 2030. The center also predicts an increase in minority and older adult populations in these rural communities. People living in rural areas are often face with limited resources as a result of their location.
Geriatric Nursing Excellence
For example, an older adult in need of specialized care; which may experience difficulty accessing that care because rural providers; who are not typically train to meet their specific needs. Older adults and people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia; so they have unique life experiences and equally as unique healthcare related needs.
With the funding support of the HRSA, researchers from the College of Nursing in collaboration with the College of Medicine, Primary Health Network and the College of Nursing’s Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence have created the PA Collaborative for Age and Dementia Friendly Care.
The collaborative will be led by principal investigators, Judith Hupcey, professor of nursing; also associate dean for graduate education and research, and Donna Fick, Elouise Ross Eberly professor of nursing and director of the Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence; and co-investigator Marie Boltz, Elouise Ross Eberly and Robert Eberly Endowed Chair and professor of nursing.
They employ a medical staff of over 150 physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health professionals. Annually, they reach over 118,000 patients and families. In addition, they are partnering with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Area Agencies on Aging, and the Alzheimer’s Association.
The older adult
The key to age-friendly care is to start by knowing the older adult; so to assess and act on mentation (brain health), keep older adults moving and active and avoid high risk or problematic medications. As we age, too many medications can cause problems with mobility; also mentation or interfere with other health and life goals,” Fick said.
The other critical piece with training students and providers is to emphasize; so how to live well with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and document the strengths of the older adult, not just the deficits. The Age-Friendly Health Systems Initiative and the 4Ms Framework are national initiatives funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association; also Catholic Health Association of the United States.
The aim of the initiative is to spread the 4Ms Framework to 20% of U.S. hospitals and medical practices by 2020; so this new funding from HRSA will help make Pennsylvania providers more age-friendly. Using these initiatives as a guide, the researchers said; so they hope to implement a curriculum to educate and support healthcare providers and caregivers; so while also providing a valuable resource in these medically underserved regions of Pennsylvania.