IPHE 401 Spirituality and Aging.  As the physical body ages it declines and deteriorates.  In contrast, the human spirit continues to develop and mature until the end of life.  Participants in this course will examine the importance of spirituality in aging, and its positive effects on health, wellness and achievement of meaning in life. Conversely, suffering or spiritual distress can rob an older adult of the older adult of the opportunity to end life peacefully and geriatric practitioners must know how to respond.  Roles and opportunities for caregivers to promote and support the spirituality of aging persons will be explored. Research methods and assessment tools to assess spiritual needs will be examined.

This course focuses on the normal changes of aging in all body systems. Select chronic diseases or conditions, and their treatment modalities, will be reviewed simultaneously with body system overviews. Using Carol Miller's (2009) Model for Promoting Wellness in Older Adults, an exploration of potential risk factors, iatrogenic complications, and functional challenge will lead the nurse to critically think about how to enhance physical health function. The compounding effect of acute illness on chronic health problems will also be examined.

GNUR 508:  Clinical Skills and the Older Adult builds on and consolidates concepts and nursing knowledge from earlier courses in the program.  Participants will have the opportunity to practice relevant psychomotor skills associated with complex episodic and chronic health challenges experienced by older adults.  This course will emphasize participant assessment proficiency, relevant clinical skills, documentation and relational capacity.  The simulation suite will be utilized to help expand the learner’s experience.

GNUR 525: Nursing Practice in Multiple Clinical Settings provides opportunities for participants to experience the RN roles and responsibilities working with older adults.  Participants will experience interdisciplinary team collaboration, and have opportunities to be health educators and mentorship of novice students.  They will work in professional roles with groups, families and individuals, in communities, agencies and care facilities, to consolidate their learning.

This course will look at current theories of causality, presenting behaviours, risk factors and therapies for each of these conditions. The impact on family and professional caregivers will be assessed. Dementia care will focus on methods to enhance and retain patient abilities.

This course will detail the unique roles and functions of geriatric care by exploring historical underpinnings, societal needs, and current issues. Twos conceptual model for care of the acutely ill, chronically ill or frail elders will provide groundwork for use of assessment tools and critical analysis. A focus on health promotion and wellness in later life will guide and direct leadership in the care of older adults. Web, electronic and journal resources that support practice will be identified.

Mental decline is not synonymous with old age. Mental health may be negatively affected by particular mental illnesses, by depression, by stress and poor adaptability, or by medical factors. Mental wellness and brain health can be boosted by timely assessment and diagnosis with appropriate treatment, education or social support. This course will explore vulnerabilities that predispose older adults to mental distress or illness with a focus on stabilizing and improving ability to problem-solve, improving ability to sound personal decisions, and maintaining personal integrity and dignity.

Palliative care is the unique way caregivers think, respond, and act as they give skilled and compassionate care to a dying person and the support system of that person. The course begins by helping each nurse understand their own perceptions of death and palliation by reflecting on their experiences with dying people. After exploring the concept of a Palliative Approach each participant will gain specific and current knowledge about symptom assessment and management, and how to deal with selected palliative emergency situations. Particularly unique aspects of caring for the dying, eg, family care, communication, grief, and self-care will be explored.