As in any other branch of nursing, in the care of the elderly the unique function of the nurse is ‘assisting the individual (sick or well) in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery, or to a peaceful death, that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge’.1 The aspects of individualised care of especial importance in respect of elderly persons are discussed in Part 4 of this book; there are, however, five vitally important concepts in caring for the elderly generally and these will be outlined and discussed here. They are the preservation of dignity and individuality, the promotion of effective communication, the encouragement of self-care, the education of the patient and his family and multi-disciplinary teamwork.
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- 1.Henderson, V., Basic Principles of Nursing Care, International Council of Nurses, 1960Google Scholar