Professionals

CLINICAL RESOURCES FOR PROFESSIONALS

Learn more about resources and trainings that can help improve healthcare for older adult patients.


Safety and Wellness

These resources can help you navigate important issues in life like finding affordable food, paying your utilities, and staying socially connected.


COVID-19 and Older Adults

  • Facilitating an effective COVID-19 exposure disclosure conversation has become a vital skill for healthcare professionals. In this article published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, the authors outline five core competencies for such a conversation and provide a helpful checklist to ensure all key areas are considered in every conversation.
  • The AAMC COVID-19 Clinical Guidance Repository is an open access resource for all clinicians and hospitals across the United States. The content, collected from academic medical centers (AMCs), specialty societies, and federal partners, aims to identify, summarize, and highlight areas of alignment in clinical practice during the pandemic. Clinicians can find up to date COVID-19 treatment and management guidance to help optimize patient care. Materials can be viewed, accessed, and downloaded.
  • The American Medical Association COVID-19 Resource Center for Physicians provides up-to-date information and guidance for healthcare professionals during the pandemic. Their site also hosts a toolkit of essential COVID-19 resources for clinicians.
  • The effective use of telehealth visit has become vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division of Healthcare Improvement’s Joint Commission has released a Quick Safety guide on using telehealth to deliver safe patient care.
  • Those in memory care have been especially effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center for Applied Research in Dementia has created a number of tools and resources to promote engagement in those with dementia even during a time of isolation and confinement.

Medication

If medications are necessary, this M focuses on using age-friendly medications that do not affect a person’s care goals, their mobility, and their mentation.

  • Learn more about this M:
    • The FSU NCF-GWEP created a training module for nurses on geriatric pharmacology. Nurses can learn about warning signs that indicate there is a medication problem, techniques to assess an older patient’s understanding of the goal of treatment, and how to educate patients about safe medication use.
    • The American Geriatrics Society’s Beers List Criteria outlines potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults and is widely used by clinicians, educators, researchers, healthcare administrators, and regulators. Learn about the 2019 update to the list from this article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
  • Clinical screening and intervention tools
    • This 2015 article from JAMA Internal Medicine describes the evidence of efficacy for deprescribing and proposes a protocol to systematically identify and discontinue drugs in instances where appropriate.

Our Older Adults page features patient education resources on the safe use of pain medication as well as recommendations for talking with healthcare providers about medication use.

Mentation

This M focuses on preventing, identifying, treating, and managing depression, dementia, and delirium across care settings.

DEPRESSION

  • Clinical screening and intervention tools
    • The Geriatric Depression Scale, or GDS, is a validated questionnaire useful as a screening tool in the clinical setting to facilitate assessment of depression in older adults.
    • The Patient Health Questionnaire, or PHQ-9, can help healthcare professionals rate the severity of depressive symptoms and make the diagnosis of depression
    • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created the Practitioners’ Guide For Working with Older Adults with Depression to help healthcare professionals in all aspects of caring for such patients with evidence-based practices.
      • SAMHSA has developed a resource page for those serving older adults on behavioral and mental health which includes helpful guides on topics such as emotional health and suicide and treating substance abuse.

DEMENTIA

  • Learn more about caring for those affected by dementia:
    • When working with older patients and persons affected by dementia, be sure to share patient education and support services resources that can help persons better understand dementia and behavioral symptoms, and access care services for issues such as home-based care and caregiver support.
    • Training for the primary care workforce about dementia, and caring for those affected is essential. HRSA has a series of 16 online modules on a wide range of dementia related topics, from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Ethics and Capacity Issues.
    • REACH has created a handout on how to respond in a helpful way to those you care for with behavioral symptoms of dementia.
  • Clinical screening and intervention tools
    • The Alzheimer’s Association’s Cognitive Assessment Toolkit provides a guide to detect cognitive impairment quickly and efficiently during the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. An informant can also help in this process as someone who can attest to a patient’s change in memory, language, or function over time, can provide valuable feedback about changes the patient has experienced.
    • The MiniCog is a validated screening tool for the detection of cognitive impairment in the primary care setting.
    • The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or MoCA , is a validated test that helps healthcare professionals detect cognitive impairment in its early stages.

Our Older Adults page features patient education resources on the safe use of pain medication as well as recommendations for talking with healthcare providers about medication use.

DELIRIUM

It is important for the healthcare professional to be able to differentiate between dementia and delirium, and in order to make a diagnosis of dementia, delirium must be ruled out. These resources help explain the difference.

  • Geriatrics Care Online explains the basic facts on and different types of delirium.
  • The Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program at John Hopkins Medicine created an article to help providers determine, assess, and treat symptoms of dementia and delirium in older adults.
  • This article, published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences in 2018, provides evidence-based practices on the expedient diagnosis and management of delirium.

  • Learn more about this M:
    • The CDC’s STEADI program developed a fact sheet on Talking about Falls Prevention with Your Patients which uses the Stages of Change model to assess an individual’s readiness to act and help healthcare providers match their advice to the patient’s stage of readiness.
  • Clinical screening and intervention tools

Our Older Adults page features patient education resources on how to maintain mobility and prevent falls.

What Matters Most

This M focuses on knowing and aligning care across care settings with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences, including end-of-life care.

  • Learn more about this M:
    • Advance Directives and Advance Care Planning – This training module on advance care planning, developed by the FSU NCF-GWEP, discusses the importance of value-based decision-making, understanding the goals and wishes of older adult patients, different components of advance care planning, and different ways of incorporating discussions around this topic with patients and families.
    • The SHARE Approach Workshop curriculum was developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support the training of health care professionals on how to engage patients in their health care decision-making. The curriculum is made up of an Introduction, four content modules, and a module with training tips. For each module, AHRQ provides a facilitator’s Training Guide and slides—all ready to download, print, and use.

Our Older Adults page features patient education resources on how to encourage conversations on end of life care as well as define terms around advance care planning.

ACP Decisions is a non-profit foundation with a mission to empower patients to make informed medical decisions by engaging in shared decision making with their healthcare providers. They have over 300 videos in 30 different languages to help clinicians provide advance care planning services and improve the quality of end of life care.

Providing Care for Older Adults

Caring for older adults in a clinical setting provides unique opportunities and challenges. Below are clinical tools and trainings to help the healthcare professional provide excellent geriatric healthcare.

  • Trainings and Interactive Modules
    • Developed by the FSU NCF-GWEP, this Nursing Assessment training covers clinical assessments in eight different domains of geriatric care.
    • This interactive training module on Communicating with Older Adult Patients teaches clinical staff ways to adjust protocol and practices in the clinical setting to help geriatric patients who may have vision or hearing problems, have a caregiver present, or need simplified instructions.
    • Based on a feedback from nurses through a needs assessment, the NCF-GWEP created an interactive, online module on Influenza for CNAs and Other Staff. This training discusses strategies for clinical staff to prevent getting the flu themselves as well as spreading it to others in the context of post-acute and long-term care
    • The interactive Pain Assessment and Management for the RN/LPN online module was developed by the NCF-GWEP to help nurses understand pain management and their role in it. Continuing education credits for RN and LPN licenses are available.
  • Helpful references and clinical tools
    • The National Institute on Aging has created a library of articles for healthcare providers on how to effectively communicate with their older adult patients and their families, promote their wellness, and discussing sensitive topics.
    • Created by the NCF-GWEP in partnership with the Healthcare network of South Florida, this Geriatrics Social History template is an example of useful questions to incorporate into a clinic’s electronic medical record
    • The MLN Booklet on the Annual Wellness Visit, created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicare Learning Network, helps providers understand Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit, it’s components, coding, the differences between this visit and other examination types, and more.
    • HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has developed helpful guides on how to optimize care for those aging with HIV. Learn more about how all members of the health care team can contribute to caring for this population as well as identify their commonly occurring health care and social needs.

Ready-to-Deliver Community-Based Presentations for Older Adult Audiences

Utilize these ready-made presentations to meet the health information needs of adults in your area! Each module, developed by the NCF-GWEP, consists of evidence-based information, instructions for interactive delivery methods, individualized patient application and activation materials, and participant evaluation forms. For PowerPoint files, please contact us.

Brain Health Presentation

Brain Health

Audience Handouts

Falls Prevention Presentation

Falls Prevention

Notes and Action Plan Page – Audience Handout (pdf)

Fall Risk Checklist and Chair Rise Exercise – Audience Handout – Obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (pdf)

Taking Care of Your Heart Presentation

Taking Care of Your Heart

Notes and Action Plan – Audience Handout (pdf)

Warning Signs and Checklist – Audience Handout – Adapted from the American Heart Association (pdf)

Getting Your Affairs in Order (Advance Care Planning) Presentation

Getting Your Affairs in Order

Notes and Action Plan – Audience Handout (pdf)

Key Terms – Audience Handout (pdf)

Prevent Opioid Misuse and Abuse

Prevent Opioid Misuse and Abuse

Notes and Action Plan – Audience Handout (pdf)

Know Your Rights Risks and Responsibilities – Audience Handout Obtained from Allied Against Opioid Abuse (pdf)