Optimizing the Care of Older Canadians with Cancer and their Families: A Statement Articulating the Position and Contribution of Canadian Oncology Nurses

Fay J. Strohschein, Lorelei Newton, Martine Puts, Rana Jin, Kristen Haase, Anne Plante, Allison Loucks, Cindy Kenis, Margaret Fitch



Position Summary

  • The aging population presents a new reality for Canadian oncology nursing care. The variation and potential complexity of the needs of older adults with cancer and their families requires integrative, comprehensive, and tailored approaches to care.
  • Canadian oncology nurses envision quality care for older adults with cancer and their families that honors strengths, promotes accessibility of care and optimal communication (in-person and virtually), supports treatment decision making processes, proactively assesses and addresses age-related concerns, involves effective interprofessional and interdisciplinary teamwork, and ensures active collaboration among community and cancer care providers. 
  • Oncology nursing practice is key to this quality care. Canadian oncology nurses notice patient and family concerns; advocate for the patient and family within and beyond health care teams; and act to optimize care by managing age-related needs, facilitating referrals, and coordinating care.
  • To contribute fully to quality of care for older adults with cancer, Canadian oncology nurses require support and resources in clinical practice, leadership, education, policy, and research.   

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