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Photograph of an older adult playing a saxophone Competency Demonstration

Optimal Aging Competency

Plan, implement, and evaluate care that promotes optimal aging.

A competency demonstration provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you have developed one or more of the Competencies for Working with Older Adults. Presentation: Competencies for Working with Older Adults

Demonstrate your Optimal Aging Competency by completing one of the following projects. We have provided you with a choice of projects. Choose one project. We do not expect you to do them all!

If you are using these Older Adult Focus materials for self-study, completing a competency demonstration gives you an end product that you can share with others for professional purposes, such as in a portfolio for employment application or as a demonstration of meeting a professional goal for an annual review. Once you have completed the competency demonstration, wait for at least 3 days and then use the criteria to evaluate your own work. Alternatively, you could ask another person to use the evaluation criteria and discuss your work with you.

If you are using these Older Adult Focus materials as part of an organized course or workshop, consult your course leader regarding how to turn in your completed competency demonstration.

  Teach a Group of Older Adults

Design and deliver an education session that teaches some aspect of optimal aging to a group of older adults. For example, you could provide a presentation to a group of older adults at a senior center or an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Your education session must address some aspect of preventing disease, maintaining or building physical or cognitive function, or continuing or renewing engagement with life. Be sure to take into account the common sensory and other changes of aging when you plan your presentation. (See the resources in the Communication Competency Learning Activities.) Use the professional literature to assist in developing your education session. Write a summary that includes the following:

  • target audience
  • brief description of the topic
  • explanation of why this topic is of importance to your audience
  • location and date of the presentation
  • brief description of the presentation
  • response of the attendees
  • what you learned about optimal aging from this experience

Write no more than three double-spaced pages of summary. Attach your bibliography and the materials that you used in the education session (e.g., your teaching outline, handouts, PowerPoint presentation). If you have large or bulky audiovisual aids, you can send a photograph or written description of them. The bibliography and teaching materials you attach do not count in the three-page limit. 

Remember:

  • Write a maximum of three pages, double-spaced. (Attached teaching materials and bibliography do not count in the three pages.)
  • Maintain confidentiality by omitting identifying information.
  • Spell-check and proofread your written work. 

For a grade of pass, your demonstration will meet these criteria:

  • Topic is clearly delineated and pertains to optimal aging.
  • Pertinence of the topic to the target audience is explained convincingly.
  • Documentation includes where, when, and to whom the education session was presented.
  • Presentation is supported by appropriate references from the professional literature.
  • Content and level of the presentation match the target audience.
  • Materials used in the presentation demonstrate ways to develop an aspect of optimal aging.
  • Materials used in the presentation are appropriate for common sensory and other changes of aging that are likely for the older adults in the setting where the presentation occurred.
  • Audience response to topic is discussed.
  • Summary includes comments regarding what the writer learned about optimal aging from this experience.
  • The materials do not convey patient identifying information.
  • Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are accurate.
  Make and Display an Optimal Aging Poster and Brochure

Design and create a poster that teaches some aspect of optimal aging and includes a brochure or handout holder. The target audience should be older adults and you should arrange for a specific location to display it. Your poster and brochure or handout must address some aspect of preventing disease, maintaining or building physical or cognitive function, or continuing or renewing engagement with life. For example, you could make a poster on how to begin a regular walking program for older adults at a senior center or a poster on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables for older adults to hang in your local grocery store. Use the professional literature to assist in developing your poster and the brochure or handout. Be sure to design it specifically for older adults, taking into account the common sensory and other changes of aging. (See the Tips for Patient Education Brochures and other resources in the Communication Competency Learning Activities.) Display the poster, with brochures or handouts for people to take home, for at least 1 week. Write a summary that includes the following:

  • target audience, location of the poster, and dates that the poster was displayed
  • brief description of the topic
  • explanation of why this topic is of importance to the older adults who frequent this location
  • detailed description, photograph, or drawing of the poster
  • copy of the brochure or handout
  • any comments from the viewers or the personnel at the poster location (if available)
  • the number of brochures or handouts that were taken during 1 week

Write no more than three double-spaced pages of summary. Attach the brochure or handout that accompanied your poster and your bibliography. The brochure or handout and bibliography you attach do not count in the three-page limit. 

Remember:

  • Write a maximum of three pages, double-spaced. (Attached brochure or handout and bibliography do not count in the three pages.)
  • Spell-check and proofread your written work. 

For a grade of pass, your demonstration will meet these criteria:

  • Topic is clearly delineated and pertains to optimal aging.
  • Pertinence of the poster and brochure or handout topic to the target audience in the poster location is explained convincingly.
  • Documentation includes where and when the poster was displayed.
  • Poster and brochure or handout are supported by appropriate references from the professional literature.
  • Content and level of the poster and brochure or handout match the target audience.
  • Content of the poster and brochure or handout demonstrates ways to develop an aspect of optimal aging.
  • Design of the poster and brochure or handout is appropriate for common sensory and other changes of aging that are likely for adults in the setting where the poster is located.
  • Number of brochures or handouts taken away in 1 week is provided. 
  • Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are accurate.

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