Research project

Topics: Old age, Gerontology, Ageing Pages: 9 (1666 words) Published: May 28, 2014

Research Proposal

Communication and sensory loss: Evaluating quality improvement process, outcomes of processes, and effectiveness of processes and staff education in residential aged care homes

Name: Beatrice Mbatia

University affiliation: NOVA Southeastern University-Florida, USA

Mentor: Dr. Julie Ellis, RN PhD, M.Nurs, B.App.Sc
Director of research
Aged care services Australia group

Date of Proposal: Saturday, 15th March 2014

Though the ageing process is unique for every individual, most people will experience some alterations in their communication and sensory organs. These communication and sensory changes may be induced by the ageing process or by diseases common in aged population. A proper understanding of these changes and timely strategies undertaken by health care professionals can greatly reduce the problems faced by the affected aged population. The most common communication and sensory changes in the aged persons include but not limited to hearing, vision, speech, taste, smell and sensation impairment which may be from ageing process or as a result of common medical conditions that affect the ageing population. Literature review

The most common cause of vision impairment in the aged persons occur as a result of medical conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy. 30% of those over 65 years, cataracts are 5th common chronic vision condition in adults over 75 years. Vision impairment impacts their quality of life by reducing their ability to remain independent, increased falls, and difficulty or unable to read and write (Campbell, V.A., Crews, J.E., & Blackman, D.K., 1999). Hearing impairment is the 3rd leading chronic condition affecting adults over 75 years of age. Hearing changes common in older adults are conductive hearing loss which involves outer and middle ear and sensorineural hearing loss which involves inner ear and cochlea (Carabellese, C., Appollonio, L., Rozzini, R., 1993). Cerumen and noise have also been associated with hearing loss in aged persons. Hearing impairment impacts their life by their inability to communicate with others about their needs, thoughts, emotions, and feelings which may lead to social isolation, low esteem and depression. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common in people over 65 years of age. The most common forms of neuropathy in aged persons are diabetic and vascular neuropathy. Peripheral nerve function that controls sense of touch declines as we age or can be caused by medical conditions, for example, diabetes, amputations, stroke etc. (Wickremaratchi, M. M., & Llewelyn, J.G., 2006). This sensory change impacts the elderly’s life in that they are at a high risk of falling, injuries, for example, burns. Taste and smell dysfunction may be related to several reasons like ageing process, use of medications, poor oral dentition and health, and medical conditions i.e. cancer, infections, Alzheimer’s disease, and others (Schiffman, S. S, 2000). The most common effect of taste and smell dysfunction in the aged persons is weight loss. Description/Goals of project

The field experience project will be a program evaluation project. The primary purpose of this clinical study/audit is to determine co-prevalence of communication and sensory loss of residents in three aged care services Australia group residential aged care homes in Melbourne, and to evaluate the quality improvement processes that seek to improve communication and sensory needs and care of the residents, evaluate the outcomes of the processes through review of care against a criteria, and evaluate the effectiveness of implemented communication and sensory loss processes and staff education and training within the organisation in improving quality of life for residents’ with communication and sensory loss. The field experience project will be conducted at Aged care services Australia group...

References: Campbell, V.A., Crews, J.E., Moriarty, D.G., Zack,M. M., & Blackman, D.K. (1999).
Surveillance for sensory impairment, activity limitation, and health-related
Quality of life among older adults-United States, 1993-1997
L., et al. (1993). Sensory impairment and quality of life in a community
Elderly population
(1983) Hearing acuity in a healthy elderly population: effects on emotional,
cognitive, and social status
Weinstein B.E. & Ventry I.M. (1982) Hearing impairment and social isolation in the
Whitman G.R., Yookyung K., Lynda J., & Wang S-L (2002). The impact of staffing on
patient outcomes across specialty units
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