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.
Geriatric assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of an older adult’s functional abilities, medical conditions, and social support system. It is designed to identify health problems, determine the individual’s ability to care for themselves, and develop a plan of care that addresses their unique needs. Here are some of the key components of a geriatric assessment:
- Medical History: A thorough review of the individual’s medical history, including any chronic conditions, previous surgeries, and hospitalizations.
- Physical Exam: A comprehensive physical exam to assess the individual’s overall health and identify any medical issues that may need further evaluation or treatment.
- Cognitive Assessment : An evaluation of the individual’s cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, language, and problem-solving skills.
- Functional Assessment: An assessment of the individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and eating, and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), such as managing medications, managing finances, and using transportation.
- Social Assessment: An evaluation of the individual’s social support system, including their living situation, access to community resources, and relationships with family and friends.
- Nutritional Assessment: An assessment of the individual’s nutritional status, including their eating habits, weight, and any nutritional deficiencies.
- Medication Review: A review of the individual’s medications to identify any potential drug interactions, side effects, or non-adherence.
- Psychological Assessment: An evaluation of the individual’s emotional well-being, including any symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Geriatric assessment is typically performed by a team of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists. The results of the assessment are used to develop a comprehensive care plan that addresses the individual’s unique needs and goals.
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