11 Geriatric Nursing Care Plans (Older Adult)

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In this nursing care plan guide are 11 nursing diagnosis for the care of the elderly (older adult) or geriatric nursing or also known as gerontological nursing. Learn about the assessment, care plan goals, and nursing interventions for gerontology nursing in this post.

Gerontology nursing or geriatric nursing specializes in the care of older or elderly adults. Geriatric nursing addresses the physiological, developmental, psychological, socio-economic, cultural and spiritual needs of an aging individual.

Since aging is a normal and fundamental part of life. Providing nursing care for elderly clients should not only be isolated to one field but is best given through a collaborative effort which includes their family, community, and other health care team. Through this, nurses may be able to use the expertise and resources of each team to improve and maintain the quality of life of the elderly.

Geriatric nursing care planning centers on the aging process, promotion, restoration, and optimization of health and functions; increased safety; prevention of illness and injury; facilitation of healing.

Nursing Care Plans

Here are 11 nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for geriatric nursing or nursing care of the elderly (older adult):

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  1. Risk for Falls
  2. Impaired Gas Exchange
  3. Hypothermia
  4. Disturbed Sleep Pattern
  5. Constipation
  6. Adult Failure to Thrive
  7. Risk for Aspiration
  8. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  9. Risk for Injury
  10. Risk for Infection
  11. Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity
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Disturbed Sleep Pattern

Nursing Diagnosis

The following are the common related factors for Disturbed Sleep Pattern nursing diagnosis:

  • Unfamiliar surroundings and hospital routines/interruptions

Defining Characteristics

Here are the common subjective and objective data or nursing assessment cues (signs and symptoms) that could serve as your “as evidenced by” for this care plan:

  • Verbal complains of difficulty falling asleep
  • Decreased ability to function
  • Dissatisfaction with sleep

Desired Outcomes

The commonly used expected outcomes or patient goals for Disturbed Sleep Pattern nursing diagnosis:

  • Within 24 hours of interventions, the patient will reports attainment of adequate rest. The mental status will remain intact for the patient.

Nursing Interventions and Rationale

The following are the nursing interventions and rationale (or scientific explanation) for the nursing diagnosis Disturbed Sleep Pattern for geriatric nursing or gerontological nursing care plans:

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Nursing InterventionsRationale
Nursing Assessment
Assess and record the patient’s sleeping pattern, gathering information from the patient’s significant others or caregiver.Elderly people usually sleep less than they did when they were younger and often awaken more frequently during at night.
Gather inquiries regarding activity level and nap.Persons with a low level of activity and who take naps frequently sleep only 4 to 5 hours per night.
Monitor the patient’s activity level.If the patient complains of being tired after activities or displays behaviors such as irritability, yelling, or shouting, encourage napping after lunch or early in the afternoon. Otherwise, discourage daytime napping, especially in the later afternoon, because it can interfere with nighttime sleep.
Identify the patient’s typical nighttime routine and try to follow it.Emulating the typical nighttime rituals may promote sleep.
Therapeutic Interventions
Try to arrange activities together such as doing vital signs, taking medication, and toileting.This lessens the frequency of interruptions and promotes rest and sleep.
Refrain the patient from drinking caffeinated coffee, cola, and tea after 6 pm.The effect of stimulants includes increase alertness, insomnia and frequent nighttime awakenings to urinate.
Provide a calm and quiet environment and lessen interruptions during sleep hours.Exposure to bright lights, unnecessary noises, snoring roommates, and loud talking can result in sleep deprivation. Use of white noise sound generators may facilitate sleep.
Administer pain medications as ordered, provide back rub, and pleasant conversation at sleep time.These interventions promote comfort thus enhance the sleep.
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Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

More care plans related to basic nursing concepts:

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  1. Cancer (Oncology Nursing) | 13 Care Plans
  2. End-of-Life Care (Hospice Care or Palliative) | 4 Care Plans
  3. Geriatric Nursing (Older Adult) | 11 Care Plans
  4. Prolonged Bed Rest | 8 Care Plans
  5. Surgery (Perioperative Client) | 13 Care Plans
  6. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus | 4 Care Plans
  7. Total Parenteral Nutrition | 4 Care Plans

References and Sources

Here are the references and sources for this Geriatric Nursing Care Plan:

  • Boltz, M., Capezuti, E., Fulmer, T. T., & Zwicker, D. (Eds.). (2016). Evidence-based geriatric nursing protocols for best practice. Springer Publishing Company.[Link]
  • Carpenito-Moyet, L. J. (2009). Nursing care plans & documentation: nursing diagnoses and collaborative problems. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. [Link]
  • Gilje, F., Lacey, L., & Moore, C. (2007). Gerontology and geriatric issues and trends in US nursing programs: a national survey. Journal of Professional Nursing23(1), 21-29. [Link]
  • Mauk, K. L. (Ed.). (2010). Gerontological nursing: Competencies for care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. [Link]
  • Wold, G. H. (2013). Basic Geriatric Nursing-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences. [Link]

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.
  • I’m an LPN for 30 years of med surg, rehab, surg, geriatric care, addiction, and psych care. I love my career of caring for people. I want to join a team that wants to continue to improve nurse care. Please keep me a part of your network. I also like to be called Penny.

  • It is very useful lesson for improving geriatric patient health care provision.
    I like it to have more.
    Or the whole course, if possible.

  • I utilize your web page/info on all of my care plans, thank you
    I am an LVN Case Manager for mostly geriatric and disabled members in managed care.

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