10 Hours 30 Mins of CPD
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Advanced Aged Care Nursing Skills

Need for Program

Between 1991 and 2011 the proportion of people aged 65 or over in Australia increased from 11.3% to 13.7%1. As this proportion grows and life expectancies increase, more people will require complex health support. To prevent unnecessary suffering and increased workloads, early identification and management of complex health problems is required. Although there are many basic courses available for aged care nursing there are few short courses that address more complex issues.
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011, Australian Demographic Statistics June 2011, cat. no. 3101.0, viewed 4 September 2012, .

Aims of Program

This program aims to enhance nurses’ knowledge about the care of older people with advanced and complex health needs. It emphasises early identification and management of complex health problems to reduce unnecessary suffering and assist with workloads. It also offers a forum to debate best care practices.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this program it is expected that the participants will be able to:

  • Correctly apply advanced knowledge to plan appropriate care for an older person with complex health needs
  • Describe the principles underpinning best nursing care of a person who has two different disabilities
  • Clearly document the social care of an older person in a competent, legal and concise manner.

Program schedule

Day 1

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Wonders of Ageing – Turning Negatives Into Positives

  • What difficulties and benefits does ageing bring?
  • Why do some older people have the ability to become less anxious, less stressed and more able to cope?
  • Comments on a professional approach to ageing.


Physical Changes to the Body – What Really Happens?

Which physiological, psychological and social changes occur as we age - for better or worse?

  • Why does body fat generally increase?
  • Why are women more likely to experience fractures?
  • Does memory always diminish and what can be done to retard this development?
  • What potential cures or remedies may we see in the future?


What are the Ingredients of Successful Ageing?

  • How is 'successful ageing' defined?
  • What role does a nurse have in promoting successful ageing even when disease is present?
  • What are the key areas of health promotion and the role of nurses?

10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


The Damaging Impact of Ageism

Ageism occurs when a person experiences negative prejudice because of their age.

  • What common ageist attitudes exist in the community and why are they a cause for concern?
  • How does this form of discrimination commonly affect wellbeing and what are the implications for aged care providers?
  • How can you ensure that you and your colleagues do not engage in ageist behaviours?
  • How can the elderly be encouraged to 'live life to the full' and ensure they gain and maintain respect from those who are younger?


Better Outcomes – 'Do Your Job' and 'Improve Your Job'

Most people with diagnoses that have moved into the terminal stage prefer to be treated at home.

  • What are the benefits of this approach for patients and for the palliative care service?
  • Common carer roles issues.
  • Resources for home carers.
  • Considerations for health professionals in a non-institutional setting.
  • Being prepared to be flexible when providing tailored care.

12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Care Essentials For Those With End-stage Dementia (Part 1)

Caring for a person with advanced dementia can be exhausting and demanding for all care givers. This session will look at the typical clinical scenarios that emerge in end- stage dementia.

  • How to adequately assess a person who has severe communication obstacles.
  • How should pain be assessed and managed?
  • What to do when infection emerges?
  • Managing agitation and delirium.
  • Developing partners in care.

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Care Essentials For Those With End-stage Dementia (Part 2)

  • Setting the scene with relatives.
  • Refocusing the care team.
  • Managing nutrition and hydration.
  • Managing excretion.
  • Reflecting and journaling care.
  • Dealing with loss and grief challenges.

4:30pm - Close of Day One of Program

Day 2

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Building Strong Person-centred Practice

A key question in aged care settings is: whose needs are really being met? This session explores the implementation of person-centred care.

  • How is a genuine, workable model of person-centred care implemented in practice?
  • Patients as partners in care - what are the implications when caring for elderly patients with acute health problems?
  • Making people accountable for their own care: is this always possible?
  • How to transfer power from the health service to the person.


Communication Approaches in Person-centred Care

An overview of the ways in which effective communications are maintained within this care framework.


Implications For Residential Aged Care

In a residential facility, the successful implementation of patient-centred care will require that key values are acknowledged and shared.

  • What are the other considerations when evidence-based aged care requires that new models of service provision be introduced?
  • Examination of the need to move away from a dependency model of care.
  • What are the substantial benefits of these new models of care for residential aged care nurses, and those in their care?

10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


Advanced Care Planning

Advance Care Planning refers to the discussion and written record of a person's wishes for care and treatment, should the time come when they are unable to speak for themselves due to illness or injury.

  • What is an advance care directive?
  • How much notice is the healthcare team required to take of such documents in clinical decision-making?
  • Which ethical dilemmas may arise in this type of planning?
  • What is a plan of care?

12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Promoting Appropriate and Considered Culturally-diverse Care

Being aware of, and implementing, adaptive systems that take into account 'otherness', is a hallmark of high quality aged care. High levels of social and emotional intelligence in staff facilitate care that has respect for differences.

  • How to promote enhanced care that it is truly reflective of culturally-diverse values, attitudes and beliefs.
  • Guidelines for assisting elderly patients/ residents from non-English speaking backgrounds, e.g. when a lack of understanding about doctor's instructions which results in medication non- compliance.
  • Making effective use of interpreting services.

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Identifying and Dealing with Elder Abuse

It is a mandatory requirement for health professionals to report elder abuse. This final session will empower you to identify abuse and to act confidently when you suspect it is occurring.

  • Summary of the features of physical, psychological, sexual, financial and social abuse.
  • What to do and when to do it.

4:15pm - Close of Program and Evaluations