National League of NursingNational League of Nursing

The Voice of Nursing Education

Vulnerability During Life Transitions


Vulnerability During Transitions

Older adulthood is dynamic, encompassing transitions from one form, state, activity, or place to another. Transitions have the potential to create upheaval and disequilibrium for older adults and their families.

Coordinating care during significant life transitions for older adults is fundamental to providing competent, individualized, and humanistic care for older adults and their caregivers. Care must be more than a series of discrete services; rather, continuity of care must be provided when older adults moves among care settings.

Nurses are advocates for older adults and caregivers learning to manage disease and promote health. The professional identity of the nurse is clearly evidenced in nurses’ role as advocates. As advocates for older adults and caregivers, nurses have the ability to improve the quality of care provided and to incorporate older adults’ and caregivers’ expectations for management of disease and promotion of health.

A diligent focus on maintaining function, control, dignity, and integrity is necessary to promote health, nutrition, function, safety, social interactions and quality of life. Nurses help individuals and caretakers to make choices about living and dying in efforts to reclaim or develop new pathways toward human flourishing.