I work as a community health nurse in Oklahoma, and visit a 75-year-old man, Rick Jackson, regularly. He is homebound due to the inability to go outside. The patient has numerous medication bottles, but he is not aware of dosage and time to take medicines. When I ask Rick about the prescribed drugs, he tells me that he has troubles in opening the bottles and reading the labels. The patient knows almost nothing about the course of his treatment. Therefore, I will help him address his concerns by referring to the successful aging theory developed by Meredith Troutman-Jordan.
The Analysis of the Theory
The successful aging theory and its concepts have proven their relevance to the daily nursing practice. Troutman-Jordan’s study focuses on managing arthritis and various medical conditions, as well as the engagement of elderly patients in physical activity. The creation of groups and the development of educational and psychological approaches promote successful aging and enhance creativity in old patients of different races. Effective interventions only improve one’s well-being. The examination of older adults living together in communities enables nurses to determine their views and prospects of successful aging. In her theory, Troutman-Jordan emphasizes a healthy diet and more moves and promotes brain health knowledge to ease the process of aging. In order to make the latter successful, nurse professionals should teach how to prevent diseases, avoid disabilities, and to maintain cognitive and physical functions. In health care, aging is often associated with a negative attitude towards elderly people. It is almost due to the discriminative and abusive behavior of providers, poor quality of care and services delivered to older patients.
Troutman-Jordan highlights gerotranscendence as one of the main concepts of her theory (Smith & Parker, 2015). It focuses on the provision of a purposeful and meaningful life, successful aging, and an increase in life satisfaction. The application of this theory and concept in particular has proven its practical effectiveness. Throughout her life and professional career, the theorist has assisted older patients to transit into their later life. The main aim of her middle-range theory is to ensure gerontranscendental and mental changes. It can be supported within various healthcare settings. Troutman-Jordan believes that the advanced age provides great opportunities for the elderly to appraise their experience. Aging is a progressive process based on one’s adaptation to changes, perspectives, and beliefs. It can be successful or unsuccessful, depending on patients’ abilities to cope with diseases and other medical conditions. Choices, actions, and professional assistance may affect the way one matures.
Meredith Troutman-Jordan is an eminent professor, who has dedicated most of her career and life to helping older patients and ensuring productive nursing practice. Her theory of successful aging is applicable to the aforementioned scenario. The theorist highlights human caring for elderly patients as an integral part of the nursing profession. Therefore, healthcare providers seek to maintain health and assist older patients with reverent and respect in a professional manner. Successful aging is the core aspect of Troutman-Jordan’s theory that focuses on patients’ changes, group activity, and environment. The professor encourages every nurse professional to develop authentic relationships emphasizing dignity and trust. Through own initiatives, Troutman-Jordan seeks to establish a healing, respectful, and favorable environment, where nobleness will be of top priority.
In his article, Tornstam has referred to the research by Troutman-Jordan in medical facilities. He has concluded that from the materialistic perspective gerotranscendence reflects the transition to a more mature state emphasizing such aspects as resilience, control, and optimism. The author also considers it normal part of aging and the developmental process that requires specific approaches depending on patient’s conditions and well-being. Vulnerability is another aspect that has to be taken into account while delivering care and services to older patients. In this case, one’s successful aging is guaranteed. Otherwise, nurses can become detached.
Troutman-Jordan’s theory can be easily utilized to guide and enhance nursing practice. Due to drastic changes in duties and workload, nurses working in various settings have to deal with complexities associated with patients’ aging. Nies and Troutman-Jordan refer to the theory tested in academic establishments and clinical facilities. They have concluded that despite hardships facing medical professionals in the ever-changing environment, they focus on older clients’ needs. Therefore, the successful aging theory developed by Meredith Troutman-Jordan serves as a valuable tool towards reaching the goals. It highlights people’s uniqueness and seeks to promote nursing beyond boundaries rejecting rigidity.
Only professional caring can help to enrich one’s successful aging with productive events and improve the relationship between providers and clients. This process depends on the commitment to care for an individual. In order to enhance and guide nursing practice, caregivers have to be conscious while promoting dignity, health, and wholeness. Troutman-Jordan’s theory helps nurses to make the right decision selecting a specific approach towards patient’s treatment. Self-control, knowledge, and healing are the core aspects of this process. Interpersonal relations between caregivers and patients can also bring positive outcomes and create a favorable environment enhancing empowerment, improving knowledge, and self-determination. The application of Troutman-Jordan’s theory in clinical practice and professional activity reflects gerotranscendence that can change one’s perception of time and contribute to professional actualization. In their article, Liang and Luo have referred to the yin-yang philosophy and concluded that gerotranscendent older patients do not have to pay attention to the roles they played in the past; instead, they can act freely. However, they are still encouraged to seek professional help. The life is full of mysteries, and, therefore, old people cannot comprehend everything. When older adults refer to their experience, they can easily form wholeness at the present time.
The Application of the Theory to the Scenario
Troutman-Jordan’s theory of successful aging can be effectively applied to the scenario involving the old homebound man named Rick Jackson, who seeks professional medical aid from a nurse due to the inability to deal with the prescribed drugs on his own. Here, the nurse is responsible to explain the patient what medicines and when to take. She has to ensure the successful aging of Rick. It can be reached in the case if the older patient figures out and resolves his health issue. Moreover, Rick lost a paper where the physician prescribed him necessary drugs and specific time to take them. In this difficult situation, the gerotranscendent older patient has to be sure that he will not be left alone. A nurse has to help him understand medical terms and improve his well-being. In this situation, the professional has to be attentive since Rick has to gain hope that his aging will be successful due to the timely aid.
The application of the gerotranscendence concept and the Troutman-Jordan’s theory in particular will help the older patient to recover as soon as possible, as well as enrich caregiver’s entire nursing practice. McCarthy has deeply examined the status of older adults in a low-income retirement community and has concluded that Troutman-Jordan’s research and initiatives also instill motivation in healthcare providers teaching them how to act properly in a complex and specific situation. In the scenario involving the older patient, the explanation of unclear medical terms and the specification of medicines will help Rick to mature successfully and to be confident that he will not be left alone with his problems. In clinical practice and research, the latter are the main strengths of the Troutman-Jordan’s theory that help the elderly to determine what exactly they want from their lives. Her studies also enable nurse professionals to highlight patients’ values and specify ways to satisfy their demands.
The Use of the Theory in Various Nursing Situations
Healthcare providers can easily and effectively apply the Troutman-Jordan’s theory in various situations. As one of the main concepts developed by the professor, gerotranscendence can be supported within various medical settings. Nurses often refer to the theory in acute and primary care, as well as other distressing situations where they find it relevant. For example, it can be applied in cases involving individuals who seek to quit drinking, smoking, and other bad habits at the advanced age. Moreover, nurses can refer to the theory when they seek to maintain the normal weight of their older patients, promote physical activity, and prevent the loss of functioning, as well as decrease disability levels, likelihood of mortality in a particular population and healthcare costs.
Education and timely professional assistance will ensure one’s successful aging. The main goal of Troutman-Jordan’s middle-range theory is to enable older adults to adapt to the aging process in a proper manner. Living a purposeful, spiritual, and meaningful life will help the elderly to perceive functional and physiological changes adequately. The way they choose to adapt to them in the course of time will depend on their abilities, preferences, and well-being. In many clinical situations, nurses develop interventions to ensure successful aging in those patients who do not age well. The middle-range theory provides a holistic representation of factors that affect this complex process, including death anxiety and physical mobility.
Older adults’ self-awareness of aging requires healthcare providers to refer to various complex mechanisms. While some patients prefer engaging in physical activity and reconsider their eating preferences to optimize independence and promote health, others heavily rely on professional assistance and enjoy group interaction considering it a crucial step towards healing. The Troutman-Jordan’s theory focuses on beliefs and values of older patients, which change depending on the situation and health conditions. To enrich and ease nursing practice, new theoretical models and methods emphasizing support and self-awareness have to be developed. Although no theory can be regarded as perfect and ideal to be used in various clinical situations, the studies still help to understand the nature of aging and reach success.