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Community nurse with older patient

Older people 

Care for older people represents the largest area of adult nursing in the UK

Whatever care setting you work in, you will be regularly caring for older people with a diverse set of needs, which in turn require diverse expertise. In this section you will find resources and guidance on the key issues related to the care of older people.

older people frail

Resources supporting the care of older people

Delirium - Information, guidance and tools to help you identify and manage episodes of delirium in older patients. Find out more about our Delirium Champion resources.

Falls - Guidance and resources for nursing professionals on the prevention, treatment and management of falls in older people

Frailty - Get advice and resources on identifying frailty in older patients and choosing the right interventions to help manage their condition

Meaningful activity - Fundamental to the delivery of high quality, safe and effective care for residents living in care homes

Supporting healthy ageing - This page looks at how nurses and health care assistants can support physical, mental and sexual activity in later life

Mental health in later life - Information on how mental health in older people and how nurses can work with older people experiencing mental health issues

How nurses can support older people’s mental health

Looking after our mental health is important whatever our age, but for many older people talking about mental health and accessing support can be more difficult. Age UK will be launching a campaign in the new year to raise awareness of the difficulties some older people face, and below Charlotte Lynch, Policy Manager at Age UK, discusses how nurses can be well placed to support older people with their mental health.

Healthcare professionals and nurses are ideally positioned to be making a difference. Age UK has identified key steps for nurses to take:  

  • Remember that mental health is just as important as physical. Try to get into the habit of asking about the emotional wellbeing of the people you see. 
  • Look out for signs that your patients are struggling with their mental health. 
  • Start the conversation. It can seem awkward bringing up mental health but older people tell us that they want to be asked and find talking useful.    
  • Think about language. Older people can be put off by terms such as mental health and depression. Try to use more informal language 
  • Remember mental health problems in later life are not inevitable. With the right support older people can recover. 
Care home journey v2

Care home journey

The Care Home Journey is specifically designed to support nursing care in older peoples care homes. It is the first time the RCN has provided bespoke web pages for nurses working in this area of the independent sector and the content has been reviewed by current experts.

View the resource.

Safe staffing

Read RCN's thoughts on what we believe will be important to ensure the new legislation is as effective as possible.

Safe Staffing

Related to older people:

Professional lead for older people:

Complex conversations and decisions 350x170

Complex conversations and decisions for care home leaders

The RCN has created a four webinars for leaders and managers of care home to support complex and sensitive conversations in nursing practice.

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