Health Assessment Of The Older Adult

Describe the characteristics of the aging process. Explain how some of the characteristics may lead to elder abuse (memory issues, vulnerability, etc.). Discuss the types of consideration a nurse must be mindful of while performing a health assessment on a geriatric patient as compared to a middle-aged adult.

Health Assessment for Older Adults-Sample Solution

Aging is a gradual and natural process associated with physical, psychological, behavioral, and social change. During physical changes, human skin loses elasticity with visible wrinkles and muscle atrophy, leading to weakness. Besides, muscle atrophy and reduced bone mineral density lead to frailty that predisposes older adults to falls, reduced functional activity, and disability (Rivan et al., 2021). Additionally, decreased functional activity increases older people’s dependency on daily living. Aging also predisposes older people to disease risk factors due to reduced immunity and age-related problems such as heart disease, arthritis, and renal problems. Cognitive impairments cause memory loss and sensory and hearing problems. These changes may influence people’s behavior as they will likely experience depression and emotional stress from isolation and lack of social integration or participation.(Aging process Essay Example)

Older people are highly prone to elderly abuse. First, older adults have reduced functional activity levels and thus depend on their family members or caretakers. Therefore, caregivers/family members are likely to exploit (financially or emotionally) older adults in exchange for their services. Second, older people are also likely to experience isolation or discrimination since they are less productive in their families and communities (Boamah et al., 2021). Third, lack of physical strength and cognitive impairments may result in sexual or physical assaults among the elderly. Lastly, isolation results in elderly emotional stress that predisposes them to mental health conditions.(Aging process Essay Example)

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Nurses should demonstrate competency and skills and be mindful while conducting health assessments for geriatrics patients. Unlike while assessing middle-aged individuals, nurses should consider that elderly persons have reduced hearing and vision sensory functions. Additionally, nurses should focus on age-specific related health problems such as hearing, vision, fall prevention, nutrition, osteoporosis, and urinary incontinence (Kutsal, 2019). In addition, the nurse should check for any signs of elderly abuse, such as malnourishment, physical/pressure injuries, or emotional and verbal abuse, that are far less visible. The nurse should also consider physical and physiological changes in old age. Lastly, they should prioritise past medical history, cultural values and beliefs, use of traditional medicine, and functional activity levels. In this case, comprehensive health assessments are crucial to identifying and addressing patients’ needs.(Aging process Essay Example)

Aging process Essay Example

References

Boamah, S. A., Weldrick, R., Lee, T. S. J., & Taylor, N. (2021). Social isolation among older adults in long-term care: A scoping review. Journal of Aging and Health33(7-8), 618-632.

Kutsal, Y. (2019). Geriatric syndromes. International Journal on Ageing in Developing Countries4(1), 41-56.

Rivan, N. F. M., Singh, D. K. A., Shahar, S., Wen, G. J., Rajab, N. F., Din, N. C., … & Kamaruddin, M. Z. A. (2021). Cognitive frailty is a robust predictor of falls, injuries, and disability among community-dwelling older adults. BMC geriatrics21, 1-13.

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