We usually talk about adherence or nonadherence in relation to a patient’s behavior, but in a retrospective study of older adults’ health records, Sinvani et al used these terms to describe the actions of health care teams. Just as the effectiveness of an established plan of care depends on the patient’s ability to follow through on its components, our impact on older adults depends on our vigilance in addressing their unique needs.

We commonly consider age when planning the care of infants and children, but we can easily overlook this factor in adult populations, treating those more than 75 years old with the same protocols, medications, and procedures that we use for those in their forties or even their twenties. As nurses, we know that older adults are a diverse population, some struggling with multiple chronic health problems, while others look younger than...

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