Ralston House Endowed Term Chair in Gerontological Nursing
Associate Professor of Geropsychiatric Nursing

Imagine being unable to see or hear well.

The glare from a table lamp irritates your eyes so much, you sit in the dark every evening. You see others move briskly in exercise class, but you can’t hear the directions. Then, anti-glare lenses or a simple pocket-sized amplifier help you rejoin everyday life. Pamela Z. Cacchione develops these practical nursing interventions for older adults. Her goal is to improve vision, hearing, functional status, and mental health. 

Practical Research, National Leadership 

These evidence-based interventions developed by Dr. Cacchione are part of a program funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research called Individualized Sensory Enhancement for the Elderly. One intervention involves improving lighting by adding contrast to fixtures, large remote controls, and lighted magnifiers to enhance vision. Another uses pocket amplifiers to assist hearing, as well as to screen for seniors who may do well with hearing aids.   

Dr. Cacchione is also a clinician educator who works as the director of research and as a nurse practitioner addressing the mental health needs of the older adults enrolled in Mercy Living Independently for Elders – West Philadelphia. A past president of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, Dr. Cacchione developed a proficiency statement for the top tier of advanced practice nurses caring for older adults. 

I want to encourage other nurses to love gerontology as much as I do, and enter the field to improve the lives of older adults.”


  • PhD, St. Louis University,, 1998 
  • MSN, Marymount University,, 1987
  • BSN, Villanova University,, 1984