Jo A., Acappella In-Home Care
"Thanks for championing such a worthy and timely topic. Your presentation hit close to home."
Lana G., RE/MAX North Associates
I have benefitted professionally from the presentations by the staff from the Gerontological Nursing Initiative. They have been helpful, not only to me, but also to client families and members of the greater Dallas community. The topics have been about subjects in which older adults and their families have an interest, and need information. A recent one educated the listeners about the value of "slow medicine" and how the symptoms of disease differ in older bodies. A treatment that might be required for a young, healthy person might be harmful to an older body. Medical professionals need to take time to evaluate the long term consequences, and discuss them with the patient and family.
The Spring Symposium educated professionals as well as older adults about the differences between dementia and delirium. I used some of the material to warn a client family of the possibility that their hospitalized father might develop delirium and suggested ways to prevent it. This was immediately useful information for me, and I hope it will be helpful to families with relatives who are faced with sudden physical and environmental changes that are difficult. It is frightening to see a loved one rapidly deteriorate; understanding that the challenges of illness and change of environment may be the cause provides hope that mental clarity may return.
Another great characteristic of the GNI presentations is their choice of venues. They are arranged in places that are easily accessible for older adults. This greatly improves the likelihood that the people who need the information will be able to attend the programs.
In my practice I am with my clients in the hospital frequently. What I notice too often is that the nurses are unprepared to work with older patients. They speak softly and often with their face turned away as they are busy with other tasks. This makes it difficult for older patients to hear and understand what is being said to them. Nurses and aides usually do not take time to hold a hand or give a cheerful, hopeful smile. Explanations of complicated procedures are given to the older adults with no family present to translate or remember the information. There are many other details that are left undone that would make the hospitalization less frightening. Through the work of GNI, nurses are being educated about working with the older population, which will make a positive impact on medical settings in the years to come, when the percentage of older adults will soar.
Kay Paggi, LPC, CMC
"The Dallas Area Parkinsonism Society thanks you very much for your presentation. You gave a very informative and educational talk, and it was enjoyed by all."
Ann S., Executive Director, Dallas Area Parkinsonism Society