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96726 Caring for an Older Person

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is designed to develop students' knowledge and skills in caring for an older person across a range of healthcare settings. A particular emphasis is placed on evidence-based assessment and care of the older person with chronic illness and/or geriatric syndromes. In response to a rapidly ageing population, students are encouraged to embrace the multiple opportunities and challenges in caring for an older person with the aim of providing person-centred care and ensuring the best possible health outcomes for older people.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Critique the political and legislative frameworks governing health and aged care of the older person across the illness-wellness continuum.
A. Critique the political and legislative frameworks supporting care of the older person across the illness-wellness continuum.
B. Integrate knowledge of the normal ageing process and markers of deteriorating health in the older person in the identification of geriatric syndromes.
C. Select and apply the most relevant assessment tools and procedures for identifying selected geriatric syndromes in the older person.
D. Apply the principles of person-centred care of the older person in developing safe and effective care for older people within primary, secondary and tertiary care settings.
E. Demonstrate effective care, management and communication with the older person with a cognitive impairment, including dementia and delirium, and their family/carer.
F. Utilise appropriate evidence based strategies for developing resilience and wellbeing when providing care for older people and their families.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are reflective critical thinkers who contribute to practice, policy and research to enhance health care and health outcomes (1.0)
  • Identify, synthesise, evaluate and apply the best available evidence for translation into practice to achieve optimal health outcomes (1.1)
  • Are socially, culturally and ethically accountable and consider health care in a global context (3.0)
  • Communicate appropriately and consistently in diverse situations (4.0)
  • Embody the professional qualities appropriate to the scope of their role (5.0)
  • Demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning and ongoing professional development (5.1)
  • Demonstrate compassionate, empathic, ethical and collaborative clinical practice (5.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to assist you to
explore evidence-based, person-centred care of the older person and integrate this information into clinical practice, thereby providing support for your development as a health care professional who is attuned to the needs of older people.

These strategies include:

  1. Preparatory activities for study days e.g. recommended readings, completing online modules, viewing websites, collecting information and discussion forum participation. These activities which will be integrated into in-class learning;
  2. Face-to-face study days which will be delivered in a variety of formats e.g. presentations and workshops, small and large group exercises, case studies and lab-based practical simulation activities;
  3. Comprehensive formative and summative feedback for all assessments; and
  4. Ongoing support through UTS Online.

The focus for the teaching and learning strategies in this subject is collaborative learning and engagement, which
reflects the best practice of health care professionals today.

Content (topics)

This subject will explore care of the older person across a range of health settings. Content includes a range of topics that are underpinned by evidence-based older person assessment and care:

  • Normal ageing processes
  • Alterations to normal ageing, chronic illness and common syndromes occurring in older age
  • Standards and frameworks for practice
  • Common geriatric syndrome/s
  • Living well and re-ablement strategies for older people


Assessment task 1: Online Reading/Resource and Reflective Discussion Activities (ORaRDAs)


This assessment will encourage students to link subject knowledge and skills learned to their individual work settings. Through three separate and sequential online reading and reflective activity forums, students will be asked to read and reflect upon the concepts of: (i) healthy ageing; (ii) assessment tools and procedures preventing falls and harm from falls in the older person; and (iii) medication safety for the older person. Participation in these forums will support students’ development as advanced practitioners in caring for an older person, and will also prepare them for the simulation scenario and reflective activity that comprises Assessment Two.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 1.1, 4.0, 5.0, 5.1 and 5.2

Weight: 30%

3 separate initial posts (1 post per concept), 400 words each; 3 separate responses to others' posts (1 post per concept), 100 words each.

Total 1500 words

Assessment task 2: Simulation and Reflection


This assessment supports students to observe and reflect on their individual and others’ experiences and skills in communicating with a person with dementia and their carer/family members. Communication skills in these situations are an essential part of professional practice and when utilised they greatly assist students to develop resilience and a professional approach to the work with older people and families.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Weight: 30%

1500 words

Assessment task 3: Written Paper


This assessment will enable students to take a more analytical approach to the assessment, care and/or management of issues and challenges that typically occur for older people with one of two common geriatric syndromes. Assuming the role of health educator for the older person and their family member/carer, students will understand how to better manage issues/challenges associated with geriatric syndromes to assist with maintenance of activities of daily living and to achieve quality of life.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 3.0 and 5.0

Weight: 40%

2000 words

Required texts

No required texts

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.