Elderly health assessments are important ways to see the patients overall health. Elderly patients can have hearing loss, so it’s important that we sit in a manner that the patient can’t see and hear us well. Sometimes a patient with vision or hearing loss can be inaccurately taken as a possible sign of altered mental status. Getting the patient’s health history and familial history is something that helps us to assess their health as well. Then a comprehensive assessment from head to toe on the patient can help us discover the patient’s real health issues. Elderly patient’s physical appearance, just like any other patient, can tell a detailed story of their health. Signs of undernourishment, further problems with skin, issues with bones/joints, and issues with heart/lungs should all be addressed in the assessment. One of the more common ailments among the elderly and maybe one of the harder things to assess for is depression. Often time’s elderly adults are undertreated and depression may be misconstrued as a reaction to life changes or the natural process of aging, but it’s a treatable diagnosis. Some elderly people don’t believe in depression therefore may not seek out help, but education for these people may end up greatly improving their quality of life (CDC, 2015). Thoroughly assessing the patient can lead us to understanding their full health needs and being able to facilitate what they need. It’s important that we understand the aging process and how important it is for each patient to resume their ADL’s as best they can.
Retrieved March 18, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/aging/mentalhealth/depression.htm Grand Canyon Univeristy.
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