• 2019 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2019 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    March 28-30, 2019, Chicago Hilton, Chicago, IL.

    Earn up to 11.5 CNE hours.


    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • AwardCall for Excellence Award Nominations

    The awards are: Emerging Chapter Award, Established Chapter Excellence Award, Special Interest Group Excellence Award, Excellence in Clinical Practice Award, Excellence in Community Service Award, Excellence in Education Award, Excellence in Leadership Award, and Excellence in Research Award.

    The nominations are tallied in July and the winners are announced every year during the Awards Celebration at the GAPNA Annual Conference.

    Now is the time to nominate a colleague or yourself - DEADLINE is June 1, 2018.

    Get started... nominate today!

  • W A N T E D   G A P N A   L E A D E R S!
    Call for Nominations!

    Have you ever considered stepping forward, accepting the challenge and volunteering for a position on the 2019 National Board of Directors? Register online NOW by April 1, 2019!

    Step Up - NOW is the Time! Register Here>

  • FREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Keynote Address - Health Policy: APRNs Working to the Full Extent of the Law"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)

    For March/April 2019 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

  • Poster Presentation


    This 22-module curriculum provides a basic knowledge base for Nurse Practitioners who looking to advance their expertise in caring for patients with dementia.

    FREE to GAPNA members until September 1, 2019

  • GAPNA Exchange


    GAPNA Exchange is a private, secure community for members to share ideas, ask questions, lend expertise, and network with peers.

    It features both an Open Forum discussion area along with smaller, segmented communities.

    Interact with GAPNA members wherever and whenever!

    Go to GAPNA Exchange

Cross-Cultural Care

Addressing Intellectual Disabilities and Communicative Disorders

by Jennifer Serafin

Individuals with lifelong intellectual disabilities and/or communicative disorders (ID/CD), such as autism and Down syndrome, are living longer than they ever have in our society.

Many of these individuals are severely disabled their entire lives, dependent on 24-hour care. They may have lived with their parents, other relatives, or in group homes, until older age and increasing disability required placement in a long-term care facility.

Once in long-term care, unless the facility is specifically equipped to handle ID/CD special needs, the medical and care issues these individuals often face cause great challenges for staff. Barriers to appropriate care for individuals with ID/CD include missed medical diagnoses or even inappropriate tests and treatments, due to the individual’s inability to communicate symptoms.

Self-injurious behaviors may become more prominent as individuals with ID/CD age. In addition, they may develop early-onset dementia which can be difficult to discern from behavioral issues related to their ID/CD diagnoses.

Since gerontologic APRNs are educated to care for individuals across the cultural continuum, APRNs who are well versed in caring for individuals with ID/CD will be able to decrease these healthcare disparities by assisting other providers and long-term care staff. Education, role-modeling, and encouragement of the staff and providers will help them deliver quality care and meet the care needs of individuals diagnosed with ID/CD at an early age.

At GAPNA’s Annual Conference in Nashville, TN, this fall, the Cross-Cultural Care SIG will present “Older Adults with Lifelong Intellectual and Developmental Disorders in the LTC Setting” on Friday, October 6, 2017. This presentation will describe culturally appropriate resources available to APRNs, as well as provide evidence-based and ethical interventions to promote culturally appropriate care for older adults with lifelong cognitive and communicative disabilities in the long-term care setting.

Jennifer Serafin, MS, BSN, GNP-C


Join your friends and colleagues in Nashville.

Register today!