Ask the Gerontological Nurse

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Image of someone who is getting old

You’ve probably heard that “getting old isn’t for sissies!” I would also like to add that “caring for those getting old isn’t for sissies!” This series is for those of you who are getting old or are caring for family or friends who are getting old.

If you are concerned about changes that you are experiencing as you age, this interactive series can act as a sounding board for those questions. We will discuss whether these changes are normal, age-related changes or if they should be cause for concern. If you are struggling to find answers while caring for an aging loved one, we will support one another while sharing information among interested readers and contributors. Together we can help one another achieve a Christ-like outlook toward aging and caring for those who are aging—while attempting to maintain some semblance of sanity for ourselves.

Feel free to send questions to These questions may be about caring for those with dementia, end-of-life decisions, or just concerns related to the aging process. Answers will be published as new posts on BJUToday. Also, feel free to share your tips and comments in response to posted questions. We can all work together to help provide guidance for the journey of aging and caring for the aging “sissy-free.”


Valarie Petersen

Dr. Valarie Petersen is a member of the Division of Nursing faculty at BJU and holds a master’s degree in nursing in clinical gerontology. She is part of a very small percentage of nationally certified gerontological clinical nurse specialists across the country teaching in nursing schools, allowing her to bring a specialized perspective to the art of caring for the elderly in the various fields of nursing.