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Self-Care in Older Adults

  • Introduction

    Nowhere self-care education is as important as it is for older adults because they are associated with high readmission rates and a lack of behaviors necessary to support positive health outcomes. Self-care refers to the ability of an individual to engage in regulatory activities aimed at the promotion of health and well-being (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2011; Sharma & Romas, 2012). The role of this ability is especially prominent in the management of heart failure. The aim of this paper is to discuss methods for increasing the effectiveness of self-care education for older adults with heart failure. The paper will draw on social cognitive theory to explain how the population can develop healthy behaviors.


    Disturbances caused by heart failure require a host of day-to-day care activities such as healthy eating, sodium restrictions, comorbidities management, physical exercise, and medication compliance (Moser et al., 2012). To enhance the population’s success in acquiring self-care knowledge pertinent to the management of heart failure, it is necessary to explore their potential for change. The role of a nurse in the development of health-related lifestyles and behaviors in patients with heart failure is to become a catalyst for and a mediator of change (Pender et al., 2011).

    To approach the behavioral change in a systematic manner, it is necessary to select a platform of change. Social cognitive theory can provide a comprehensive theoretical underpinning for the education process. The theory posits that an individual’s expectations are bi-directionally linked with their behaviors and environments (Giddens, 2015). It follows that a nurse who has a deep understanding of social cognitive theory can help their patients to practice positive health behaviors by influencing their perceptions and motivations.

    It has been long established that the functional performance of older adults hinges on their perceived self-efficacy (Mullen, McAuley, Satariano, Kealey, & Prohaska, 2012). It has to do with the fact that many functional activities associated with complications are socio-contextual. Thus, to improve the ability of older adults to manage heart-failure, one should target their self-efficacy beliefs. These expectations are central to the theory and refer to a person’s perception of their ability to successfully perform a particular action (Mullen et al., 2012). Given the enormity of life-style changes required from patients with heart failure, it is necessary to increase their level of persistence in the pursuit of healthy behaviors.

    A healthcare professional helping the population to develop self-care skills have to understand the main sources of self-efficacy. These sources are mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and somatic states (Pender et al., 2011). By tailoring educational interventions to these sources, a nurse can improve their ability to manage both the disease and its comorbidities. A study conducted by French, Olander, Chisholm, and McSharry (2014) lists the following social cognitive theory-based methods for improving self-efficacy in older people: “setting behavioral goals, prompting self-monitoring of behavior, planning for relapses, providing normative information, and providing feedback on performance” (p. 225). Therefore , a nurse who bases their self-care education on the theory can achieve remarkable results in terms of improving the health and well-being of patients using heart failure.


    The report has discussed approaches that can always be used by health-related professionals to raise the potency of self-care training for older people with heart malfunction. The paper features emphasized the position of self-efficacy awareness in disease managing. It is argued of which social cognitive theory-based interventions such seeing that self-monitoring and conduct goals may help on the process involving adopting new self-care behaviors.


    French, D. S., Olander, E. Ok., Chisholm, A., & McSharry, J. (2014). Which behavior transformation techniques are almost all effective at raising older adults’ self-efficacy and work out behaviour? A systematic assessment. Life of Behavioral Remedies, 48 (2), 225-234.

    Giddens, J. N. (2015). Concepts for nursing jobs practice (2 nd education. ). Frankfurt, Indonesia: Elsevier Health Savoir.

    Moser, D. K., Dickson, V., Jaarsma, Big t., Lee, C., Stromberg, A., & Riegel, B. (2012). Position of self-care inside the patient with cardiovascular failure. Current Cardiology Studies, 14 (3), 265-275.

    Mullen, S. S., McAuley, E., Satariano, W. A., Kealey, M., & Prohaska, T. R. (2012). Physical activity and even functional limitations inside of older adults: Typically the influence of self-efficacy performance. The Journals involving Gerontology, 67 (3), 354-361.

    Pender, D., Murdaugh, C., & Parsons, M. Some sort of. (2011). Health promotion inside of nursing practice (6 th ed. ). Uppr Saddle River, NJ-NEW JERSEY: Pearson Education.

    Sharma, Michael., & Romas, T. A. (2012). Theoretical footings of health training and health promo (2 nd ed. ). Sudbury, MA: Williams and Bartlett Mas

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