comment Tammy January 30 10:15 am

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Assessment of the geriatric patient focuses on the promotion of quality of life, maintaining self-care, and preventing disease and its complications.   Often there are chronic diseases that need to be addressed.   Some of the major issues are weight and diet, activity, fall prevention and home safety.   Pneumococcal and seasonal influenza immunizations are important for this population (Edelman, Mandle, & Kudzma, 2014, p. 616) .   The comprehensive assessment of the geriatric patient incorporates physical and mental assessments, functional status, social and economic status, pain, and safety of environment.   The goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses to provide adequate interventions for promotion of independence and prevent decline (Jarvis, 2016, p. 831) .     Functional status must be determined, it is one’s ability to live in society and function as they did in their younger years.   The nurse can observe functional ability or ask questions of the patient or the caregivers.   There are tools for assessing activities of daily living that can aid in this assessment.   In the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, contains assessment of eight items; use of telephone, shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, self-medication, and management of finances.   Final scoring does not matter as much as identifying strengths and needs (Jarvis, 2016, p. 833) .

The quality of life for an older person is closely linked to the social function.   Social assessment focus is on family relationships, social groups, and community support.   Is the person in pain?   Assess pain right from the start, address the pain with medication and then move on to the assessment.   Pain impairs the assessment.   The geriatric patient will need more time for their assessment.   Consider the feelings of the patient, they may be frightened if they cannot answer questions or perform physical function testing, they may be fearful of the consequences of the results of assessment (Jarvis, 2016, p. 843) .   The assessment is multidimensional with many aspects to consider.   Knowing the normal aging process and results of chronic disease will aid the nurse in this assessment.


Edelman, C., Mandle, C., & Kudzma, E. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span (8th ed.). [Adobe Digital Editions version]. Retrieved from[s2]/6

Jarvis, C. (2016). Functional assessment of the older adult. In Physical examination and health assessment (7th ed., pp. 11-26). Retrieved from elsevier ebooks

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