Understanding the Important Role Nurses Play in Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities strive to provide residents with just the right type of care so that they may remain safe, happy, and comfortable. One group of professionals who are essential to providing this support is nurses. You will find them assisting residents throughout the day, every day.
During National Nurses Week, we are taking time to salute nurses and thank them for their service.
Honoring Nurses during Nurses Week
“Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence” is the theme for 2018’s National Nurses Week. Here are a few of the ways that nurses embody each of those virtues in assisted living communities:
- Care plans: Nurses take the lead in organizing the care team that creates, implements, assesses, and revises each resident’s individual service plan. This is a collaborative process that helps to ensure each resident lives their best quality of life.
- Education: Part of a nurse’s role in an assisted living community is education. They coordinate and lead new care manager trainings, conduct continuing education programs for team members to update their knowledge and skills, and help residents and their families learn more about their health and well-being.
- Medication management: One of the most requested services in assisted living communities is medication management. Older adults are the major consumers of medication in our country. According to the Food and Drug Administration, seniors purchase 30 percent of the prescription drugs and 40 percent of the over-the-counter medicine sold in this country. Because they often take multiple medications each day, the risk for a dangerous mistake is higher among seniors than younger adults. Nurses oversee the process of administering, ordering, and monitoring residents’ medications, thereby ensuring a safer process.
- Chronic illness monitoring: Another benefit nurses in assisted living communities provide to residents is oversight for chronic health conditions. They play a vital role in monitoring symptoms and intervening early when they detect changes in health status. They monitor medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure, to name a few.
- New resident evaluations: When families are searching for an assisted living community for a senior loved one, a nurse is called on to evaluate the potential resident’s care needs. They provide an objective assessment of the senior’s status and how much support will be required after they move in.
- Community education: Assisted living nurses might also be asked to help educate family caregivers, first responders, and other community organizations on a variety of aging-related concerns. Because they typically have a vast amount of hands-on experience with issues like dementia, senior nutrition, and life enrichment activities, nurses can be great resources for educating the community.
This week and every week, we are thankful to the nurses who care for the residents of the Sunrise Senior Living communities across the country. Read the Nurses Week Spotlights on The Sunrise Blog to meet a few of Sunrise’s extraordinary nurses!