Comprehensive Health Assessment of a Geriatric Patient.
Describe the elements of a comprehensive health assessment of a geriatric patient. What special considerations should the nurse keep in mind while performing this assessment? Describe one local community resource the BSN prepared nurse could utilize to assist a geriatric patient in your community. (my community will be in Parker or Tarrant County, Texas)
Comprehensive Health Assessment of a Geriatric Patient.
Comprehensive Health Assessment of a Geriatric Patient
Course Name and Code
Nurses pay a major role in improving the quality of life of adults in old age, over 65 years of age (Parker et al, 2018). The elderly in America are expected to increase in number to 70 million by the year 2030, from 34 million in 2000 (Parker et al, 2018). It is imperative that all nurses familiarize themselves with geriatric health issues. Understanding health issues experienced by older individuals within the society is key to having a workforce that exercises the best possible scenarios for Continuous health assessment is necessary as it monitors the vitals of an individual and ensures they are faring well. Geriatric patients are older patients of age 65 and over. These individuals are susceptible to various illnesses and conditions. These conditions include both mental, physical and biological conditions such as depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia and pulmonary and cardiovascular problems (Knapik et al, 2019).
Elements of A Comprehensive Health Assessment of a Geriatric Patient
A comprehensive assessment for a geriatric patient should be multidimensional and inclusive of all aspects that directly or indirectly influence the individual’s life. physical analysis and examination, mental tests and assessments, social and economic health and their immediate environment are key elements that should be assessed and analyzed. An assessment entails the collection of vital personal information on their needs and personal experiences or circumstances with the aim to help in decision making on treatment (Parker et al, 2018). A geriatric health assessment entails all facets of the patient’s medical history to understand their current health situation. These include the main problem faced, the illness the patient is currently suffering from, all medical problems in the present and the past, demographic data on the illnesses mentioned, the social and family history of the patient and a review of the systems available in addressing the problem.
Nurses in a geriatric assessment exercise undertake this by collecting data on the mobility and any physical injuries on the patient. The aging process impacts differently on people, but with the commonality of there being a slowing down of the normal psychologic and physical function (Ivanoff et al., 2018). The slowing down of motor function is the main reason as to why older individuals are relatively slow. Although a normal occurrence, motor defects can be increased by presence of various cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. The treatment of common issues such as diabetes, glaucoma, hypertension, heart disease and liver diseases are examples of situations that impact on the physical aspect of an individual.
Functional ability is used to describe an individual’s ability to handle themselves and carry out daily tasks that are necessary for their comfortable living (Ivanoff et al., 2018). A nurse is expected to assess both the activities of daily living and the instrumental activities of daily living (Knapik et al, 2019). The instrumental activities of daily living are the necessary activities that are carried out to ensure an individual has the capability to live independently without necessarily receiving help from others. The activities of daily living are those that those that are performed daily and are categorized as self-care activities. Activities of daily living include cleaning, dressing, moving around the house, bladder control and normal bowel function, while examples of instrumental activities of daily living include housework, cooking, communication, handling finances and taking medications, among others.
This element of a comprehensive assessment allows the nurse to understand of any possible genetic conditions or diseases within the family as they may provide information on the condition one is suffering from or the possible future occurrence of a disease (Knapik et al, 2019). It may also shed light on the presence of an asymptomatic disease. The information should be comprehensive and cover all family members, their past and present histories of disease and any treatment options. Their physical and mental health should also be included. The mental health of an individual is key to their wellbeing and normal functioning. An assessment of their mental health and how much it affects their daily routine and social health should be carried out.
Special considerations the nurse should keep in mind while performing this assessment
The nurse should consider the health of the patient, their learning ability or disability, the cognitive ability of a patient and any gender issues present (Knapik et al, 2019). The language of the patient should also be considered during the assessment as one should use a patient-friendly language. Geriatric patients, although considered old and possibly not as cognitively able as young ones, should be consulted and advices accordingly on their health. This upholds nursing ethics by ensuring they understand and consent to treatment plans and are respected through privacy and confidentiality.
A local community resource the BSN prepared nurse could utilize to assist a geriatric patient
My community is Tarrant county in Texas. The Administration for Community Living in Tarrant County in Texas is a good local community resource center for a geriatric nurse. It offers a place for ageing patients to consult on their health and stay if willing. With their large database and experience in handling older adults, a geriatric nurse can learn a lot from the older people in the facility and the nurses and caregivers in charge of the daily activities. Their telephone contact is +1 (202) 401-4634.
Administration for Community Living. https://acl.gov/
Ivanoff, S. D., Duner, A., Eklund, K., Wilhelmson, K., Lidén, E., & Holmgren, E. (2018). Comprehensive geriatric assessment of frail older people: ideals and reality. Journal of interprofessional care, 32(6), 728-734.
Knapik, A., Brzęk, A., Famuła-Wąż, A., Gallert-Kopyto, W., Szydłak, D., Marcisz, C., & Plinta, R. (2019). The relationship between physical fitness and health self-assessment in elderly. Medicine, 98(25).
Parker, S. G., McCue, P., Phelps, K., McCleod, A., Arora, S., Nockels, K., … & Conroy, S. (2018). What is comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA)? An umbrella review. Age and ageing, 47(1), 149-155.