Describe the characteristics of the aging process
Topic 5 DQ 1
With aging, humans start experiencing lots of physical limitations and cognitive impairments. The aging process is gradual and as a result one may start to notice a decline in functionality of the senses and activities of daily living, and increased susceptibility to disease, frailty, as well as disabilities associated with aging, such as arthritis, frailty, decreased in physical activities and generalized Weakness to name a few(National Institute on Aging [NIH], 2020). Also, almost all the parts of a human body from hairs to toe with noticeable changes, such as hairs first turns gray and white. Different body systems and reflexes like digestion, nervous system, overall cardiac output and renal functions slows down. The elderly can begin to develop eye problems like cataracts and glaucoma, hearing loss, fatty deposits over coronary arteries, wrinkles, looses bone density and muscle shrinkage and other sensory impairments(NIH, 2020). As a result, elderly people are mostly dependent on others for help and support. This increases their risk of being abused and often face inadequate support from their caregivers and often experience episodes of depression and emotional stress. Due to these conditions, the elderly are more vulnerable to physical imbalance, impaired body coordination, falls and bone fracture. The abuse might continue if the elderly person becomes more dependent on others for support he/she can no longer provide like before(NIH, 2020).
There are lots of considerations that a nurse must be mindful of while performing a health assessment on a geriatric patient as compared to a middle-aged adult. While assessing an elderly patient, a nurse must take an account of patient’s sensory functions like hearing, speaking, vision and taste. Vital signs must be assessed including glucose and sodium levels, bowel and bladder pattern, motor evaluation and most importantly nutritional assessment. Elderly people have a lot of limitations and issues with memory, a nurse should wait on the time for proper response(NIH, 2020).
In the case of the middle-aged adult the nurse should consider and focus on the following in order to obtain a comprehensive assessment. Begin by assessing the age-related changes, such as past medical history, allergies or past surgery if any, medications, cultural views on health, dietary habits, mobility and physical challenges, use of folks medicine or alternative/traditional treatment , use of illicit drugs or alcohol, psychosocial assessment etc(U.S National Library of Medicine, 2021).
Respond using 250-300 words APA format with references to support the discussion.
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.
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