Topic 5 DQ 1
Topic 5 DQ 1
Aging occurs with numerous changes caused by physiological changes in various body systems. It is characterized by changes in body composition evidenced by reduced muscle mass and deteriorating changes in muscles, bones, and joints. Musculoskeletal system changes can be attributed to reduced muscle strength and height loss in older adults (Amarya et al., 2018). The changes increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries in the elderly population. In addition, numerous changes occur in the neurological system due to a reduced brain’s capacity to convey signals, causing a decline in memory, learning, cognition, and intelligence. Cognitive decline results in conditions such as Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s.
Cardiovascular changes include decreased heart rate and constriction of blood vessels, which increases contractility and elevates blood pressure. Respiratory age-related changes include shrunk respiratory muscles and loss of lung tissue elasticity. The changes cause abnormal breathing patterns and increase the risk of respiratory infections (Amarya et al., 2018). The GI system also undergoes changes, such as teeth loss, reduced saliva secretion, delayed digestive process, and altered bowel movements resulting in incontinence or constipation.
The body changes in aging are detrimental and put the elderly at risk of abuse, a common concern in this population. Changes in the musculoskeletal and neurological systems reduce the ability to perform ADLs independently, making older adults rely on others (Rosen et al., 2018). The dependency on others for ADLs makes them vulnerable to neglect, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Besides, the reduced muscle strength increases their vulnerability to physical assault since they cannot defend themselves.
A health assessment for a geriatric patient varies from middle-aged adults since the nurse should take a comprehensive medical history for the geriatric. The medical history should include details of all the present medical illnesses and the previous and current treatments used (Garrard et al., 2020). Besides, the social history for a geriatric should be thorough, identifying the patient’s caregiver, living status, support system, and ability to carry out ADLs. Geriatrics are at risk of malnutrition, and thus the nurse should conduct a nutrition assessment.
Amarya, S., Singh, K., & Sabharwal, M. (2018). Ageing Process and Physiological Changes. In Gerontology. IntechOpenhttps://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.76249
Garrard, J. W., Cox, N. J., Dodds, R. M., Roberts, H. C., & Sayer, A. A. (2020). Comprehensive geriatric assessment in primary care: a systematic review. Aging clinical and experimental research, 32(2), 197–205. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-019-01183-w
Rosen, T., Stern, M. E., Elman, A., & Mulcare, M. R. (2018). Identifying and Initiating Intervention for Elder Abuse and Neglect in the Emergency Department. Clinics in geriatric medicine, 34(3), 435–451. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cger.2018.04.007