AARP and the Role Nurses Offer to Patients

You have been asked to address a group of the American Association for Retired Persons
(AARP) about the roles that nurses offer to adults over 50. Pick three key roles and write
an editorial about the role and the potential impact of the nurse specialist on the health of
seniors. Be sure to explain the nursing role so that your lay audience can understand.
The AARP is one of the most influential lobbying groups in the US. Are there specific
legislative agendas that you would like them to support in expanding the role of nurses?
Plead your cause as part of your presentation.

AARP and the Role Nurses Offer to Patients Over 50

Nurses have been of great help in terms of providing medical assistance as well as moral
support to the elderly in the United States. Recent Health reports released by the American
Health magazines reveal that many Americans are greying and this has been a worrying trend for
nurses owing to the nature of their jobs which is the provision of family medical care (Lynch,
2011, p 32). Health professionals and policy makers have reinstated that people above the age of
fifty are complicated hence they need specialized healthcare services. This is because their
medical conditions are now shaped by many factors among them being medical, physical and
The first role of nurses in caring for AARP has been constant monitoring of their health
records. Changes related to age also impact on the functioning of their body systems. The heart
begins to wear out and calcium disintegrates into blood vessels leaving teeth and bones with
deficiencies. Their eye-sights weaken because of cataracts which dims their vision. Hearing
becomes impaired which demands that the elderly are fitted with hearing aids. Other body organs
begin to function improperly or even much slower. For instance the liver, kidney, lungs and the
heart beats reduce and consequently there is increased wear and tear in the joints and muscles as
the ages shift upwards towards 65. Even though old age is not a disability, it is a transitional

phase that requires attention just like children. The memory as well as reasoning is greatly
affected which might lead to memory lapses.
The second role is helping the elderly maintain healthy lifestyles despite being dependent
on their families and caretakers. The ageing trend then turns the elderly into dependents who
constantly need specialized care, regular exercise, healthy lifestyles, proper dieting, intellectual
stimulation, and advanced social interactions. With the changes also come chronic health
problems such as mild diabetes and frequent strokes or heart failure. With such factors the work
of the nurses is made more complex. In a bid to contain these adverse chronic conditions, nurses
have been trained on the medical care that needs to be administered on people above the age of
50 so as to keep them strong even as their bodies are subjected to wear and tear caused by old
age. With such responsibilities the nurses have been responsible for ensuring that the elderly
remain active members of society which is only possible through committed monitoring of their
body organs.
The third role emanates from the nurses need to management of chronic conditions
related to ageing require more specialized medication which is conducted at regular intervals.
The work of nurses is further complicated with the realization that regular use of prescriptive
drugs exposes the elderly to health risks. Research identified the possibility of frail elderly
conditions owing to such Medicare. Nonetheless primary care providers have been responsible
for taking care of the elderly. The irony is that health care providers who are the nurses are much
younger than their ageing patients who worse still might be of a different ethnicity or race
bringing in the challenge of language barrier. To the nurses, this has been an opportunity to
exercise mutual learning.

Competence among nurses has also helped solve such problems as aggressive patients.
Even though the care of the people over the age of 50 has been assigned to caretakers, the nurses
are often needed to treat them and monitor their health. Current legislations have identified
medical healthcare systems with the maintenance of nursing homes. It is no longer a community
responsibility to care for the elderly but a responsibility of nursing agencies. The legislation
further states that the care for the elderly is now done at the tax payers’ expense as opposed to
community care as it was in the past (Morris, 2006, p 8). This leaves the nurses with a bigger
burden and work load of caring for the elderly.


Lynch, F. R. (2011). One Nation under AARP: The Fight over Medicare, Social Security, and
America’s Future. California: University of California Press.
Morris, R. (2006). The AARP: America’s Most Powerful Lobby and the Clash of Generations.
New York: Crown Press.