Celebrating 30 years of coverage of older people's care

June 2019 marks 30 years since this journal was reborn as Nursing the Elderly, replacing Geriatric Nursing and Home Care. Later it would change its name again, finally becoming Nursing Older People in 2000. 

NOP 30 years

To commemorate this we explore the development of Nursing Older People and the specialty it represents over the past three decades. 

As Nursing Older People has adapted to reflect the way content is delivered and consumed now, so too have older people’s nurses responded to the complex needs of a population who are living longer. 

Focus on what older people do have

With our evolving online presence, I’m able to step outside the static medium of print to interact directly and immediately with readers to find out their likes, dislikes and needs. With the development of person-centred care nurses are also focusing on what is important to individuals. 

As our features, Looking back at 30 years of older people’s nursing and Three decades of older people's nursing reflected in our pages highlight, long gone are the long-stay hospital wards of the 1980s where there was little expectation of recovery or discharge. Now services focus on working with what older people do have, rather than what they do not, with the aim of enabling them to live well for as long as possible and, as far as possible, in a place of their choosing. As well as initiating many of these services, expert older people’s nurses are crucial to their successful delivery. 

Present and future challenges

But there remain challenges: an inexorable demand for care against a backdrop of societal ageism and inadequate staffing levels. And, in a world with no off switch, the editor’s fear of responding too slowly to the latest policy announcement. 

What of the future? I’ll be watching with interest the increasing role of digital healthcare in the specialty. Nursing Older People will continue to reflect and report on these and other developments for all its readers.

Lisa Berry is editor of Nursing Older People