Assessment of an Elderly Client

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Submitted By kachisom
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Assessment on a geriatric patient is usually different from standard medical evaluation of other patients. For the elderly patients, especially those that are really old. General assessment like the physical and history-taking might not be done at the same time because patient becomes tired easily. The elderly usually have multiple health issues which requires the use of many drugs which is also called polypharmacy. The elderly are best evaluated using a comprehensive geriatric assessment, which includes evaluation of function and quality of life usually by an interdisciplinary team.
While assessing a geriatric patient, the nurse should consider that at this point in their lives a lot is going on, there is degenerative changes, multiple disorders, caregiver problems, missed or delayed diagnosis.
On average, elderly patients have 6 diagnosable disorders, which their primary care giver might be unaware of A disorder in one organ system can weaken another system, exacerbating the deterioration of both and leading to disability, dependence, and, without intervention, death . The nurse should also pay particular attention to certain common geriatric symptoms (eg, delirium, dizziness, syncope, falling, mobility problems, weight or appetite loss, urinary incontinence) because they may result from disorders of multiple organ systems. Occasionally, problems of elderly patients are related to neglect or abuse by their caregiver (see Elder Abuse).The nurse also should consider the possibility of patient abuse and drug abuse by the caregiver if circumstances and findings suggest it. Certain injury patterns are particularly suggestive, including

Frequent bruising, especially in difficult-to-reach areas (eg, middle of the back)
Grip bruises of the upper arms
Bruises of the genitals
Peculiar burns
Unexplained fearfulness of a caregiver in the patient.
Due to their state…...

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