As the elderly population increases, demand for nurses and caregivers trained to work with geriatric patients will grow. So will the need for learning aids that engage today’s students and help them develop empathy towards the elderly. Even if your students aren’t entering a healthcare field, they’ll benefit from increased sensitivity towards older adults. In fact, empathy is widely thought to be the driving force behind many of the skills that are most likely to get candidates hired.
So how do you help today’s students understand what it can be like as an older adult? For students who crave relevancy and real-world learning experiences, geriatric simulators, or age simulation suits, are particularly effective.
We asked educators who use our RealCare™ Geriatric Simulator in nursing, health care and FCS programs to share the creative ways they’re using the suit. Read on to learn what they shared!
Looking for ways to teach geriatric care and sensitivity topics in an e-learning environment? Get lessons and activities you can facilitate online by watching our recent webinar, “Delivering Activities Online from the Geriatric Curriculum.”
1. Small-group practice stations
Create several small-group “geriatric experience” stations in your classroom for students to move through. One station could feature the complete suit, another station could feature the visual impairment glasses, another could simulate hearing loss, and so on. The Geriatric Simulator curriculum even includes several research projects that students could focus on in yet another station. Encourage your class to take turns rotating through each station.
Another station idea: Feature the interactive simulators packaged in our Geriatric Sensory Impairment Kit. This kit includes a Hearing Impairment Simulator, Geriatric Arthritis Simulator and a Geriatric Tremor Simulator, all of which would provide your students with additional interactive options to experience age-related physical challenges.
2. Group experience
When groups of students experience a geriatric suit together, conversations are enriched. Students are able to compare how they feel and engage with one another as they try to complete physical tasks, like tying their shoes or using a cell phone. This group dynamic leads to deeper discussion and better understanding of the impact the geriatric suit is having on everyone.
In a recent webinar, we shared ways to facilitate a lesson from our Geriatric Simulator curriculum, “The Impact of Aging on Bones and Joints,” in an e-learning environment. Watch it here.
2. Patient practice
Set up a hospital room or nursing home room right in your classroom. Have one student wear the geriatric suit and the other play the role of nurse or CNA. In this scenario, the role of the nurse is even more meaningful as they help the patient perform physical tasks like sitting down, standing up, walking and laying down – they’re beginning to understand the reality of working with elderly patients, from patience and communication to providing physical assistance. At the same time, the student wearing the simulator is experiencing the physical impacts of aging on the body. These are all key skills for working with the elderly.
In a recent webinar, we shared ways to facilitate a lesson from our Geriatric Simulator curriculum, “Hearing Loss,” in an e-learning environment. Watch it here.
Real-world experiences can aide in helping prepare today’s students for success in careers and in life! With a little creativity, you can conduct engaging, memorable and effective experiences for your students that will help them succeed in the future.
In a recent webinar, we shared ways to facilitate a lesson from our Geriatric Simulator curriculum, “Understanding Tremor in the Elderly,” in an e-learning environment. Watch it here.
For more information on the RealCare Geriatric Simulator, we recommend these resources: