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 various interprofessional practitioners to critically think about how to enhance physical health function. The compounding effect of acute illness on chronic health problems will also be examined.

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.

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.

Contemporary Issues in Gerontology will provide students with an understanding of how the process of aging affects individuals and how an aging population affects and influences Canadian society. Aging will be examined within historical, contemporary and culture contexts. Topics will include aging and health, aging demographics, the psychology and sociology of aging, finances and economics, retirement, leisure, housing and transportation, and family social supports. Participants will have the opportunity to identify and examine their personal beliefs and values about the aging process throughout the course.

Provides an overview of drugs used in the Canadian context and relevant lab values related to drug therapy. An understanding of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics related to the aging body will assist the gerontological nurse in understanding drug reactions. The nursing role in medication management with aging clients will be defined.  Reasons for drug misuse and abuse will be explored, and principles and strategies developed to improve drug regime compliance.  The role of nurses and their practice in culturally diverse contexts is considered. This course is a hybrid of classroom and online learning.

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.

Most aging people use medication (prescription or over-the-counter) to treat a variety of chronic or symptomatic problems. This course seeks to define the nursing role in medication management with aging clients or patients. An understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics related to the aging body will assist the gerontological nurse in understanding drug reactions. Reasons for drug misuse and abuse will be explored and strategies developed to improve drug regime compliance. High risk medications and polypharmacy will be discussed. Tools to assist with medication profile analysis will be presented.

As people age, cognitive and affective function can be impacted by life events, role change, personal choice and behaviour, acute and chronic disease, or environmental stressors. With a view to helping the older individual attain their optimal level of wellness, this course will explore those psychosocial issues through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Readings and course dialogue will help gerontological nurses develop strategies to assess coping ability, identify risk factors that undermine independence and well-being, and promote psychosocial health.