Journal Entry

Week 1 Focus Questions: Section 1: Foundations of Healthy Aging

a) Explain the importance of a comprehensive assessment in older adults.

b) Identify statistics related to aging in the United States.

c) Compare the facts and myths about aging.

d) Identify at least four priority nursing diagnoses in the care of older adults.

e) Identify treatment settings for the care of older adults

Answer: 

a) The importance of a comprehensive assessment in older adults is to provide a holistic and thorough understanding of the physical, psychological, social and spiritual health of the individual. This information is essential in developing an individualized plan of care and for identifying potential health problems that may impact the older adult’s quality of life. The assessment should include a thorough medical history, review of medications and allergies, functional and cognitive assessments, and a review of the individual’s living situation and support system. The results of the assessment are used to establish the individual’s baseline health status and can provide important information for developing and monitoring interventions over time.

b) According to the US Census Bureau, the older adult population (aged 65 and over) is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060. The fastest growing segment of the population is the 85 and older age group. In addition, it is estimated that 70% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 50% have two or more.

c) There are many facts and myths about aging, and it is important to separate the two to promote accurate understanding and perception of aging.

Facts:

  • Aging is a normal process that is inevitable and affects everyone.
  • As people age, they are more likely to experience changes in physical and cognitive function, and to develop chronic health conditions.
  • Older adults are at higher risk for falls, hospitalization, and death.

Myths:

  • Aging is solely characterized by decline and loss.
  • Older adults are not able to learn new skills or participate in new activities.
  • All older adults are frail and in poor health.

d) Four priority nursing diagnoses in the care of older adults include:

  • Ineffective Health Maintenance related to a lack of understanding or knowledge about health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Risk for Injury related to physical changes and increased risk for falls.
  • Impaired Physical Mobility related to decreased strength, flexibility and endurance.
  • Disturbed Sleep Pattern related to changes in sleep patterns, health conditions and medications.

e) Treatment settings for the care of older adults can include:

  • Home care, where an individual receives care in their own home.
  • Assisted living facilities, where individuals receive support with activities of daily living and access to healthcare services.
  • Skilled nursing facilities, where individuals receive 24-hour medical care and rehabilitation services.
  • Hospitals, where individuals receive short-term medical treatment for acute conditions or injuries.

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