Keeping Your Parents Healthy: Advanced Nursing Making a Difference in Long-Term Care

Don't underestimate the power of advanced nursing education. Nurses with specialized skills and leadership qualities provide exceptional long-term care services for aging parents, ensuring their comfort, well-being, and a higher quality of life.

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Keeping Your Parents Healthy: Advanced Nursing Making a Difference in Long-Term Care
5 Min Read June 15th, 2024

If your parents are over 50, you may wonder how they will age. If they are over 70, you may worry a lot about their health and well-being. They may start needing a helping hand with daily tasks or have chronic health conditions requiring ongoing medical care. Longevity means more older adults need long-term care services at home or in a facility.

You're not alone if you're looking for ways to ensure your loved ones receive the best possible care. Here's where nurses, especially those with advanced training, become essential players in maintaining a high quality of life for older adults.

Nurses: The Hands-On Heroes of Long-Term Care

Think of nurses as your parents' personal healthcare champions. They work tirelessly alongside doctors, CNAs (certified nursing assistants), and other professionals to develop individualized care plans that address your parents' specific needs.

But nurses go beyond simply following instructions. Those with advanced degrees, like those who have graduated from Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs, possess a deeper well of knowledge and skills that make a real difference. Nurses looking to advance their careers are using online MSN degree programs to provide the skills necessary to help an aging population.

Advanced Skills for Enhanced Care

Imagine a nurse who can not only manage your parents' medications but also identify early signs of potential health issues like pneumonia or urinary tract infections. This is the power of advanced nursing education. More and more skilled nurses are now involved in helping those who have chronic health issues, dementia, and other long-term care needs.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Nursing, the role of nurses in managing chronic illnesses and providing comprehensive care is critical. The study highlights that advanced practice nurses (APNs) bring a higher level of expertise and clinical skills to long-term care settings, significantly enhancing the quality of care provided to older adults.

These nurses have in-depth knowledge of geriatric care, allowing them to provide specialized care geared to older adults' unique challenges, such as age-related mobility decline or cognitive changes.

If you are not already aware, once someone reaches age 65, the Department of Health and Human Services says there is a 56% chance of needing long-term care services in their lifetime. Your parents will face this problem, and so will you in the decades ahead.

For example, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with a geriatric specialization can perform comprehensive physical assessments, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and develop treatment plans that address your parents' specific needs.

These APRNs can also manage chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease, ensuring your loved ones receive the best possible care without frequent trips to the doctor's office.

Leadership and Collaboration: A Strong Support System

Most long-term care services are provided at home, but more and more older adults move to assisted living facilities, and sometimes require skilled nursing home or memory care. Nurses with advanced training can also take on leadership roles within nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

These skilled professionals work to ensure the entire care team, from physical therapists, CNAs, RNs to social workers, is on the same page, fostering effective communication and advocating for your parents' well-being.

Nurses with advanced degrees, such as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, are becoming crucial in long-term care settings. Their specialized knowledge in geriatric care enables them to deliver comprehensive and coordinated care for older adults with complex health issues. This expertise not only enhances patient outcomes but also reduces hospital readmissions and lowers overall healthcare costs.

This focus on collaboration creates a supportive environment in which everyone works together to keep your parents healthy and happy. The goal is for your loved ones to receive quality care in any setting.

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Embracing the Latest Advancements

The field of medicine is constantly evolving. Nurses with advanced degrees are trained to stay current with the latest research and best practices. This training means your parents have access to the newest treatment options and approaches to care. For instance, an MSN-prepared nurse might be familiar with innovative pain management techniques or cutting-edge therapies for dementia, ensuring your loved ones receive the most effective care available.

This commitment to lifelong learning extends beyond textbooks. Many online MSN programs offer gerontology or long-term care specializations, allowing nurses to stay at the forefront of advancements specifically tailored to the needs of older adults.

Beyond the Physical: Empathy and Understanding

As we age, our physical needs are only part of the equation. Nurses understand the emotional and social aspects of aging as well. Those with advanced training excel at communication, actively listening to your parents' concerns and explaining things clearly and compassionately. This builds trust and rapport, leading to better overall well-being.

For example, an MSN-prepared nurse might recognize signs of depression or anxiety in an older adult and provide emotional support or connect them with mental health resources. They can also help families navigate difficult conversations about care options and ensure your parents feel included in decisions that impact their lives.

Peace of Mind for You and Your Loved Ones

Knowing your parents are receiving care from highly skilled and compassionate nurses and other staff can bring immense peace of mind. Advanced nursing education is critical in ensuring older adults receive the best possible care, allowing them to live their golden years with dignity, independence, and a sense of well-being.

Kathy Roper, CEO of LeadingAge, a national association of nonprofit aging service providers, says that the demand for quality long-term care services will only grow as our population ages.

These services are essential for helping older adults maintain their independence, dignity, and overall well-being. Without access to quality care, many older adults may face unnecessary decline in their health and functional abilities.

Many home health agencies and long-term care facilities employ these highly skilled staff to maintain a high level of care for a growing population. Finding quality care can be challenging, but LTC NEWS makes it easier with the LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory.

The directory has the country's largest database of caregivers, senior communities, and long-term care facilities. With a few clicks, you can find quality care options for your loved one - Search for Quality Long-Term Care Near You.

Quality long-term care services are costly. Hopefully, your parents have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy in place since health insurance and Medicare only pay for short-term skilled care. Generally, LTC Insurance is something you acquire in your 40s or 50s as part of retirement planning, although with good health, those in their 60s and beyond can find affordable options. Be sure to seek help from a qualified, independent LTC Insurance specialist to find the right plan.

So, the next time you think about your parents' long-term care needs, remember the vital role nurses play in keeping them healthy and happy. Your parents deserve the gift of exceptional care as they age, and so will you in the future.

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About the Author

Carla Adams is an enthusiastic dreamer and a workaholic. She is a passionate blogger, writer, basketball player, researcher, and fashion freak. She has contributed to many reputed blogs and is constantly on the lookout to reach authoritative blogs around. Follow her on Twitter @CaCarlaadams

LTC News Contributor Carla Adams

Carla Adams

Contributor since June 22nd, 2023

Editor's Note

Do you have a plan for the future costs and burdens of aging? You should.

Health insurance and Medicare don't cover long-term care costs; they only pay for short-term skilled care. What this means is that unless you include Long-Term Care Insurance in your retirement plan, you'll be responsible for covering care costs, or your adult children might have to step in as caregivers—or possibly both. 

Adding Long-Term Care Insurance to your retirement plan ensures access to quality care, including in-home care, without burdening your loved ones. An LTC policy protects your income and assets from the soaring costs of long-term care. It also alleviates the stress and responsibilities placed on those you love.

It's essential to consider getting LTC Insurance when you are in your 40s or 50s, which will allow you to take advantage of lower premiums and better health, making it a more affordable option. For those in their 60s and older, affordable options are still available, depending on health.

Find a qualified, independent Long-Term Care Insurance specialist representing the top insurance brands to help you find the most affordable options based on your age and health.

An LTC specialist will ask you detailed health questions before giving you accurate quotes from all the top-rated insurance companies that offer long-term care solutions. 

Navigating Long-Term Care: Simplify Your Search with the LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory

Finding quality long-term care services for a loved one can be overwhelming for many families. The search for reliable caregivers and reputable long-term care facilities is fraught with complexities, from determining the specific type of care needed to understanding the various offerings and standards of facilities. 

It's a process that requires significant time and effort, often under the stress of an urgent need. This complexity is compounded by the desire to find a solution that meets healthcare needs and fits within a family's budget and geographical preferences.

The LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory allows you to search from over 80,000 listings of caregivers, senior communities, and long-term care facilities. This free service makes the search process easy, and you can find quality care with a few clicks. It allows you to filter through options, learn about the services provided, review ratings, and narrow down your choices to those that best meet your requirements. 

Whether you're looking for in-home care, an assisted living facility, or specialized care for conditions like dementia, the LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory is a valuable tool in navigating the complex landscape of long-term care services.

Having a Long-Term Care Insurance policy unlocks access to quality care. LTC NEWS collaborates with Amada Senior Care, a leading in-home healthcare provider, to help you efficiently process claims from any Long-Term Care Insurance policy.

Enjoy the comfort and assurance of knowing you have quality care options available when needed, thanks to the seamless claim filing support from LTC NEWS - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim.

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