NURS 3120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Mental Status Examination, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Arteriosclerosis

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11 Sep 2017
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Assessment of the Older Patient
The Older Patient
AGING is a normal developmental process
Everyone ages at different rates
YOUNG-OLD: 65-74
MIDDLE-OLD: 75-84
OLDER-OLD: 85 +
Life Expectancy
# of years one is expected to live based on year of birth or current age
Life Span
# of years that a human being is capable of living
Aging itself is NOT a disease
Chronic health problems increase with aging
Important to understand differences between normal aging & disease processes
HTN, pain, urinary incontinence & memory loss are NOT PART OF NORMAL AGING
It is never too late to educate the older adult on healthy lifestyle behaviors
Health History
As we age there are gradual changes in every body system
Understand the expected anatomical changes in older age groups
Seek data from patient themselves whenever possible
Observe for vision/hearing deficits that affect data collection
Past Health History
Make a note of any chronic illnesses
Review all medications
Older patients may be seen by a number of health care providers
Who is prescribing?
Allergies
Adverse reactions to medications
Immunizations
Flu shots
Pneumococcal vaccine
Genograms or family histories may not necessarily be collected in this population
Personal and Psychosocial History
Similar to all adult patients
Shift your focus to address…
How do they feel about aging
Work/retirement concerns
Live alone/spouse/ partner or family
Sleeping patterns
Pets/companions
Friends
Attend social events
Concerns regarding fixed income
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Document Summary

The older patient: aging is a normal developmental process, everyone ages at different rates, young-old: 65-74, middle-old: 75-84, older-old: 85 + # of years one is expected to live based on year of birth or current age. # of years that a human being is capable of living: aging itself is not a disease, chronic health problems increase with aging, htn, pain, urinary incontinence & memory loss are not part of normal aging. Important to understand differences between normal aging & disease processes. It is never too late to educate the older adult on healthy lifestyle behaviors. Health history: as we age there are gradual changes in every body system, understand the expected anatomical changes in older age groups, seek data from patient themselves whenever possible, observe for vision/hearing deficits that affect data collection. Personal and psychosocial history: similar to all adult patients, shift your focus to address .

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