Chapter 6: Older Adults
Ageism (negative attitude based on another’s age) can lead to discrimination and disparities in
health care provided to older adults.
Aging affects every body system. Biologic aging is a balance of positive (e.g., healthy diet,
exercise, coping, resources) and negative factors (e.g., smoking, obesity).
Biologic theories can be divided into stochastic and non-stochastic theories.
Older women are especially at risk for chronic health problems, including arthritis, hypertension,
strokes, and diabetes.
The frail elderly are individuals who are more vulnerable because of declining physical health
and limited resources.
Activities of daily living (ADL), including bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring, are
important for the nurse to assess in the older patient living with chronic illness.
For the hospitalized older adult, there are special concerns related to high surgical risk, acute
confusional state, nosocomial infection, and premature discharge with an unstable condition.
The intensity and complexity of caregiving place the caregiver at risk for high levels of stress.
This may lead to emotional problems, including depression, anger