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Help: Have to teach elderly next week!


Specializes in Neuro, PCU. Has 5 years experience.

I just started an accelerated BSN program 3 weeks ago, began our clincial rotations yesterday, and found out that NEXT week, my partner and I have to give an educational presentation to the senior citizen's center about hypertension and low sodium diets.

How do we achieve this without sounding condesending or talking down to them?! We have another teaching assignment later on with children, but I think that will be a bit easier. I could really use some advice, I'm feeling overwhelmed (did I mention that I have 2 exams next week and 2 papers due!?)

Thank you!!!


UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Shouldn't be too hard, because it's all new information. The latest information has different numbers than many seniors were taught, so emphasize that these are new parameters for the latest research.

I usually use the old HTN is like squeezing a garden hose thing to explain how it works and why it's dangerous.

Good luck!

Present the facts and data. If you have any questions that you cannot answer, say so and get back to them.

I watched a couple of presentations by med students to a group at a retirement/nursing home facility. One of the presenters was not well prepared and tried to fake his way through the material - it was obvious that he was not well prepared. He did not realize that there were several retired docs, a dozen retired nurses, several researchers, etc. in the audience. They about had him for lunch :chuckle .

However, the other presenter was well prepared and admitted when she did not know something. She recieved a great deal of support and encouragement from the group.

They asked great questions! A good learning experience for everyone involved...

Good luck, I'm sure you will do well. A lot of these folks are very "up" on their diseases and welcome the latest information. But you might have to explain the basics, too. Make sure you save some time for Q and A.

Can you get more info on your group demographics?


Specializes in psychiatric ER, Mental Health. Has 10 years experience.

Speak to them like you would be speaking to someone your age. Seniors are just as active and want to learn as we do. (even those who do have some impairments) I am doing a presentation next week as well to a group of seniors. They will be in a subacute setting, short term and going home. We are presenting how to prevent falls at thome. What group are you working with? (nursing home, community, hospital?) You can tailor your presentation as you see the demographics.)

I love seniors, they are a great group to work with!!

Good Luck!!


suzy253, RN

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

I loved doing presentations--especially with the seniors. I agree--they're a great group.

We did posterboard presentations, large colorful pictures & fonts and discussions, handouts, Q&A period.

Good luck.


Specializes in Neuro, PCU. Has 5 years experience.

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to mention that it's at the local senior center. Our instructor warned us that they may not be too receptive, that they like to sit and play dominos and don't like to be interrupted! I think that's why I'm a bit nervous. I need to chill out, it's only a few minutes! I tend to be very nervous in public speaking situations, so this will just be good practice!

Thank you for your encouragement!! It really does help!


Specializes in Neuro, PCU. Has 5 years experience.

Just wanted to update you all about my presentation last week. It went much better than I anticipated! I was VERY prepared, so much so that I HARDLEY referred to my cards, which I have always needed. I have always been so insecure giving presentations, but I actually DID have fun talking to and teaching to the seniors!

At the very end, I had one woman ask me to sit down with her to further explain and answer her specific questions, which made me feel really good! I thought I would be boring to them or presenting "old news" to them, but it wasn't that way after all!

Thanks again everyone!


I'm glad to hear that your presentation went well, that you enjoyed it.

And thanks for sharing the good news w/ us. Sound as tho you did a great job.



Specializes in psychiatric ER, Mental Health. Has 10 years experience.

YAY!! Congrats!!

even if we get to one person, we have made a difference. We might think that our knowledge is old news, but most seniors dont have the resources that we have, and many time the physicians just tell them things like "dont eat so much salt" but never really expand on how many places salt is hiding.

I am glad it went well for you!!

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