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Selective Optimization With Compensation: A Model for Elder Health Programming

GROVE, LORI J. MS, RN; LOEB, SUSAN J. PhD, RN; PENROD, JANICE PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/01.NUR.0000343080.57838.2f
Feature Articles

The members of the independent and active baby boom generation entering their retirement years may put clinical nurse specialists (CNS) in greater demand than ever before as educators, consultants, researchers, and case managers. Community-based educational programming to promote health and to monitor and manage chronic health conditions of elders is a recognized method for the CNS to meet these growing demands. The application and utilization of Baltes and Baltes' theoretical model of Selective Optimization With Compensation (SOC) in senior health programming holds promise for CNSs to assume more integral roles in optimizing health promotion for and self-actualization in community-living elders. Senior centers serve older adults who want to stay active, involved with others their age, and current, including learning how to promote their health. The CNS can readily infuse the SOC model into the planning and organizing of health programming for older adults at senior centers, which will in turn aid elders in maintaining independent functioning, autonomy, and quality of life. A detailed template for developing such theory-driven programming with an example program focused on nutrition is provided. Finally, a variety of topics for additional SOC-guided program development are presented.

Author Affiliations: Williamsburg, Pennsylvania (Ms Grove); School of Nursing, University Park and the Penn State College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey (Drs Penrod and Loeb).

Corresponding Author: Lori J. Grove, MS, RN, PO Box 124, Williamsburg, PA 16693 (LJGROVE@EMBARQMAIL.COM).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.