ACE.C Teaching Strategies
Many older adults have complex care needs due to frailty, functional limitations, and chronic medical conditions. Dealing with these needs can be overwhelming for the older adult and family members. Therefore, there is a need for the older adult, the family, and the health care team to work together toward the best possible outcomes for all involved. This teaching strategy emphasizes the importance of family-centered care and focuses on effective family-centered communication strategies designed to improve outcomes and promote well-being for older adults and their family caregivers.
The act of caregiving is known to come with physical, mental, and emotional stress. Moreover, when family members need assistance due to a disability or an illness, caregivers have varying levels of readiness or experience to step into the caregiver role. Thus, it is understandable that caregiving is often seen as overwhelming and stressful for families.
This teaching strategy focuses on developing conceptual awareness of the multiple challenges facing the millennial caregiver. This awareness will prepare the student to identify and support the educational, emotional, and resource needs for the millennial caregiver of an older adult with acute, chronic, or terminal illness.
The teaching strategy will assist students to experience the core values of the National League for Nursing, which are caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence. The learning activities in this teaching strategy can be used for undergraduate and graduate students, separately or together. The teaching strategy can also be used as interprofessional activities to engage students from nursing, medicine, social work, physical therapy, and pharmacy as they brainstorm ideas about public health policy and research related to gerontechnology and learn about, from, and with each other. The learning activities can be used in class or online.
This teaching strategy uses a case study approach to engage students to think through a complex situation involving an older adult who is starting to decline and a concerned family member who is becoming a caregiver. The use of technology to assist the aging adult to live safely at home, commonly referred to as aging in place, is emphasized.
Teaching Strategies on Caregiving from Other ACE Programs
Below are teaching strategies from the Advancing Care Excellence series that relate to caregiving.
The inclusion of the family caregiver cannot be overlooked. This teaching strategy can be used to help students better learn how to help the family caregiver with education about dementia and delirium, resources for situational decision making and emotional support.
Nurses need to include family members in their approach to treatment of the patient with Alzheimer’s disease. By understanding how to screen caregivers for evidence of burnout, students are better prepared to more holistically treat the patient. Early screening and multi- component interventions can improve outcomes both for the caregiver and the patient (Etters et al, 2008). This teaching strategy offers activities to help the student better understand the impact of stress on the caregiver, screen for this impact, and construct strategies to address the strain. It is a teaching strategy that can be adapted to both in-class and online settings.
This teaching strategy uses Managing Oral Hygiene Using Threat Reduction Strategies (MOUTh), which contains three components: (a) an evidence-based mouth care protocol for older adults with dentition or dentures; (b) recognition of CRBs; and (c) strategies designed to lower the perception of mouth care as a threatening, scary, or assaultive activity (Jablonski, Kolanowski, Therrien, et al., 2011; Jablonski, Therrien, & Kolanowski, 2011; Jablonski, Therrien, Mahoney, et al., 2011).
This teaching strategy focuses on supporting the spouse when a diagnosis of dementia changes the relationship. It looks not only at the emotional and educational support needed for the best possible outcomes, but also at the economic challenges of managing the needs of a patient with dementia..
Feeling productive, relevant, and independent are significant to the quality of life of most people. These qualities often become diminished with older adults as they are faced with maintaining dignity in the face of functional challenges. This teaching strategy focuses on working collaboratively with an older adult who has both physical and psychosocial challenges to find resources to maintain independence and strategize to optimize his quality of life. The student explores resources that may be helpful to the older adult, and develops a plan of care for this client based on the prioritized needs.