Guideline for Older Adult Teaching Project


Who:   Find an individual 65 years of age or older, living independently (alone or with others).

This person needs to be relatively healthy, active, able to make decisions, and looking forward to living and growing older.

Where: Look for people in churches, senior centers, and family of friends or friends of

classmates. The senior should not be a member of your immediate household, but may be

family and or family member.

What: Plan to make one face-to-face, zoom, video conference or telephone interview and one follow-up teaching session.


  • Review Chapters in Taylor about therapeutic communication and developing the therapeutic relationship.
  • Review the ANA books for nursing scope of practice around communication and teaching.
  • Lippincott Advisor.
  • You will need to cite these references.

****It is also a good idea to review the rubric before you get started.

****Remember HIPAA when you write your paper NO identifiers anywhere.


  • Select a time and place that will allow for one-on-one dialogue without distractions. Consider your interviewee’s limitations especially related to vision, hearing and mobility
  • Introduce yourself and inform the older adult about the purpose of the interview – to conduct a lifetime interview, identify a learning need and provide a structured teaching presentation to meet the learning need.
  • Begin the interview with introductory questions that will enable you to get to know the older adult. The questions suggested below will help assess factors in the person’s life that may have affected how they have “aged” (see suggested questions below)
  • During the interview, be personally aware of nonverbal clues that indicate how you and your older adult might be feeling. Be sensitive about tone, and if conducting a face-to-face interview consider distance, posture, and gestures.  Use open-ended questions and avoid judgmental responses.  The project is designed to encourage the older adult to explore their feelings and concerns. Sometimes, just a general question about the category will encourage the older adult to share about theirexperiences. If you listen carefully, they may speak to the questions within the context of their conversation. Practice active listening techniques during the interview.  Feel free to omit questions which ask for multiple facts, detailed scenarios, and “why’s”.
  • A few minutes before it is time to close the interview, allow the person to express any other thoughts, feelings, or impressions.  Thank the person for sharing time and experiences.  Remember in this interview you are assuming the role of a professional nurse, be aware of possible “boundary” issues (disclosing your personal information/issues, fixing a problem for the patient, receiving or purchasing gift…)

Suggested questions to ask the older adult: 

It is not necessary to ask every question in each category. The questions are intended to generate ideas about topics related to the subject.  Sometimes, just a general question about the category will encourage the older adult to share about theirexperiences. If you listen carefully, they may speak to the questions within the context of their conversation. Practice active listening techniques during the interview.

1.  Suggested Questions about Life Experience

    • General question: Tell me what it was like for you, growing up?

1. What is your first memory from your childhood? What is your first memory of “your world”?

2. What childhood trip is most vivid for you?

3. Did you have any fears while growing up? (i.e., fear of nuclear war)

4. What did your parents make you do that you hated doing?

5. Did you grow up in a time before television? How did that influence you?

6. What kinds of chores did you have to do as a child?

7. What social events and/or occasions did you look forward to?

8. What do you remember about going to school?

9. Tell me about your family. Were your parents or grandparents immigrants? How did this affect you and your childhood?


1. What was life like as a young adult?

2. Who was the first president you voted for? Do you remember why you voted for him?

3. Did you date? What was that like?

4. If married:  When and how did you meet your spouse? Tell me about when you got married.

5. Do you have children?

6. What was it like to be a young parent? Was parenting different than it is today?

7. What is your occupation? If you had it to do over again, would you pick that profession?

8. What do you remember most about being a young adult (age 20-40)?

  1. What is your idea of being “old”?
  2. What does aging “well” mean to you?
  3. Tell me where and how you want to live out the rest of your life.
  4. Who do you consider to be someone significant in your life?
  5. Do you have grandchildren? Great-grandchildren?  What do you let your grandchildren
    1. do that your children could not do?
  6. How often do you have contact with your children and grandchildren? Other people
    1. who are significant to you?
  7. Do you feel your living arrangements are satisfactory?
  8. Have you had to adjust your standard of living since retiring?
  9. What kinds of interests do you have outside of the family? Hobbies?
  10. Have you ever played a musical instrument?
  11. Tell me about your strengths?
  12. What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
  13. What is the most extravagant thing you’ve ever done?
  14. What are you most proud of having done?
  15. What is the most important rule you’ve lived by?
  16. Who has had the most influence in your life? and how?
  17. What would you still like to do that you haven’t done yet?
  18. What is your best advice for today’s youth?

2. Questions about health and wellness (these questions are formulated to help you identify a learning need):

1. Tell me your idea of health and wellness? What does it look like to you?

2.  Describe a typical day.

3.  How would you describe your health? What causes you to feel this way?

4.  Ask what the person feels is “old age”, “aging well” or a “personal definition of health”

5.  What factors in your life contribute to your health?

6.  Tell me about your home and your neighborhood and what they mean to you.

7.  Questions for the living situation.

–How long have you lived here?

–If the older adult is in a new living situation, ask them what circumstances precipitated the change.

–If the older adult has lived in the present environment for a long time, ask them how they manage to be so successful at home.  What has helped the older adult to remain independent at home?

8. Are there any specific questions about health, health care, or medications the older adult person would like to ask of you?

  • Identify the learning need

After the initial interview, select a health-related learning need together. Suggestions for teaching topics could include; a new medication prescription, safety, the need for carbon monoxide detectors, information about Medicare, recent lifestyle changes related to living arrangements or chronic illness, isolation, loneliness, depression. Try to consider a topic that will enhance the older adult person safety. KEEP IT SIMPLE.  Focus on a specific learning need.

  • Find out the educational level of the learner and their prior knowledge.
  • Assess the adult learning principles.
  • Determine unique ways to motivate the individual (what is important to them? How can implementing the teaching help them achieve or maintain what is most important in their lives (e.g. maintain mobility will allow them to play with their grandchildren)
  • Schedule a second visit to present teaching
  • Thank the individual for spending time with you and express excitement for the wellbeing and health you hope to provide


  • Research the chosen educational topic and draft the content
  • Determine teaching strategies appropriate for content and individual.
  • Consider the older adult’s energy level and best time of day to learn
  • Limit the duration of the teaching component to 20-30 minutes
  • Develop 2-3 objectives. Use a variety of teaching methods.  (Discussion, pamphlets, creative visuals, etc.
  • Teaching content must be from a reliable resource (American Heart Association, My, your course text books…)
  • An excellent resource is Lippincott’s Advisor (found in CoursePoint+ for Taylor). This contains excellent patient education handouts and material.
  • Complete the teaching plan grid (Attachment). The grid should be integrated into the paper and submitted as one document. This is not part of the page limit. An APA reference list of resources used in the teaching project should follow the teaching plan grid.
  • If the teaching plan grid is not integrated within your assignment uploaded in Worldclass during submission, you will not receive points for that portion of the paper. The grid should be part of the word document, no jegs, pdfs or images will be accepted.  Be sure to check your submission once it is uploaded.
  • Prepare teaching material and teaching aids.


  • Ensure a quiet location which supports communication and learning
  • Provide teaching to individual. Be sensitive to and respectful of individual’s limitations
  • Provide motivation specific to individual
  • Assess comprehension of material and reinforce main points as circumstances dictate
  • Conclude with praise and enthusiasm
  • Thank them for their participation and help in your nursing program


Ignatian Pedagogy Guided Reflection

INSTRUCTIONS: Use the Ignatian Pedagogy Conceptual Model as a guide. Reflect upon your experience.  This reflection is more than a recounting of your activities such as the date, time, and description of what occurred.  Rather, it is a concise analysis of personal experiences and the meaning (reflection) of those experiences as they apply to your personal and professional nursing role.

  • Reflect on the interview and explore your personal feelings about aging and the older adult.
  • Further reflect upon the role of the nurse, teaching/ learning with an older adult.

 Please address 2-3 of the questions in each section below as you reflect on one or two situations from this week’s clinical experience.

Context/Meaning: Personal Growth Lens: Describe the experience objectively. 

  • Critique a meaningful situation that occurred during your experience. 
  • What lens did you use to look at this?
  • What assumptions or expectations did you bring to this situation?  Did they prove to be true?  If not, why was there a discrepancy?  What did you learn today about yourself?
  • Did you feel prepared to provide safe, high quality patient care?

Experience Interpretation:

  • Compare your approach with; 1) Textbook resources 2) teaching resources 3) what you learned in class.
  • Based on concepts from readings, class discussions, content learned in the classroom or other recent experiences, what is your new understanding of the learning event, issue or situation?

Action:  Analyze your actions performed throughout the experience. 

  • What were you trying to accomplish and why?  What role did you play?  Did you act unilaterally or collaboratively and why?  Should you have worked with others differently and why?
  • How did you modify the patient’s care to address their spiritual and/or cultural needs?
  • How did leadership emerge in this situation on yours or other’s part?
  • What did you learn about the role of the RN on the unit?
  • The clinical experience and the learning that occurred matters because…..
  • Set goals, in light of this learning. I will… 


  • How will you approach the same or a similar event, issue or situation in the future?
  • What nursing practice wisdom have you derived from this experience?
  • Describe how your experience has transformed your nursing practice.  
  • From this experience explain “How ought you to live”.


  • Use the rubric to guide your paper (Attachment) and follow it to the letter to ensure maximum grade. Submit your best work. There are NOT options to re-do the assignment.
  • Submit paper as a word document only.
  • Follow HIPAA guidelines closely (Do we really need to know the patients name, etc?).
  • Use Times New Roman 12pt font.
  • Use Regis title page (Attachment)
  • Use APA 7th edition for citations and reference list.

Guidelines for written Older Adult Teaching and Reflection: See Rubric for specific detail.

Paper 2-4 pages.

  1. Describe the interview (e.g. the setting, your initial impressions, general reactions, and feelings about the phone conversation or interview.)
  2. Give a brief synopsis of your interview, including the older adult’s interesting life experiences.
  3. Describe how the person views health and “ageing”. What factors do they see as essential for maintaining health and “aging well”? This is their views not their current health state.
  4. Identify two or more therapeutic communication skills (as described in Taylor or the ANA) used in the interview and the rationale on how they affect communication. Describe how you used the technique.
  5. Describe one communication barrier which may have occurred during the interview or teaching presentation and discuss strategies for improvement.
  6. Assess the adult learning principles (see Rubric).
  7. Reflect on the interview and explore personal feelings about aging and the older adultly.
  8. Further reflect upon the role of the nurse, teaching/ learning and the older adult.
  9. Complete the attached teaching plan grid including 2-3 objectives. The teaching plan grid should be included at the end of your paper.
  10. Be sure you use APA format throughout your paper, teaching grid and reference page. Make sure you refer to the rubric for required references.
  11. It is critical for this project to follow HIPAA guidelines for personal information protection.

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