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Teaching Strategies

Myths of Aging

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Overview of Teaching Strategy

Myths about older adults often drive attitudes about caring for older adults. Many times there are negative connotations entangled in these myths and attitudes. Changing these attitudes and deflating the myths will make students better understand older adults and realize they are more alike than different despite the age disparity. Subsequently this transformation in thinking about older adults may enhance students' connections with the geriatric population leading to a more caring approach.

This teaching strategy is a fun activity to engage students in a discussion about myths and attitudes regarding older adults. Designed in a quiz show game format, it includes topics ranging from physical health to psychosocial issues to sexuality. Opening up the game sparks discussions on common myths associated with aging with accompanied evidence of answers and further discussion. It can be utilized in teams to ignite a spirit of competition or as a whole classroom or seminar activity.

The speaker notes (which are invisible to students) include notes expanding the content of each question with appropriate links to the How to Try This Series assessment tools. This teaching strategy can be an effective tool to begin a discussion with nursing students caring for older adults and help to change negative attitudes. The strategy also includes a link (see the Getting Started section below) to a short video that portrays a dynamic older adult with a substantive quality of life. The ultimate outcome is for students to develop the ability to approach gerontology with compassion and enthusiasm.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Develop an understanding of common myths associated with older adults
  • Discuss how attitudes about older adults can affect caring for older adults
  • Understand the atypical presentation of both physical and psychosocial issues in older adults
  • Understand the need to uniformly assess issues using tools from the How to Try This series

Aces Essential Knowledge Domains

  • Complexity of Care
  • Individualized Aging
  • Vulnerability During Transitions

Aces Essential Nursing Actions

  • Assess Function and Expectations
  • Use Evolving Knowledge
  • Coordinate and Manage Care
  • Make Situational Decisions
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Nursing Education
Nursing Education
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