Describe the characteristics of the aging process.

 Topic 5 DQ 1

Erikson’s Developmental Stages, Ego Integrity Verses Despair is the final stage of development for 65 years of age and older. Accomplishments are viewed as satisfactory (ego integrity) or being a failure (despair). Elderly patients at this stage may often experience physical, spiritual, emotional, and cognitive crisis, (Green, 2018).

Keeping in mind that while performing a health assessment on an elderly patient, aside from a head-to-toe examination which is also used in young adults and middle-aged adults’ additional things to look for are functional abilities, and quality of life. Characteristics to look for in the aging process of the elderly include changes in the body’s systems, integumentary, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, and over all comprehensive health. Cognitive assessment helps in determining the patient’s memory especially short term that can possibly be a sign of Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, (Green, 2018).

Additional characteristics of aging adults include 1. Life expectancy, Enjoying the quality of life and decreasing the incidence of hospitalizations is critical as well as safety and health promotion. 2.Fraility, a condition of vulnerable health accompanies aging and includes biomedical factors which in turn reduces abilities to cope with stressors like hospitalization. Symptoms of frailty include weakness, slowness feeling exhausted, decrease in physical activities weight loss, and shrinkage(height). 3. Chronicity, Genomic based chronic illnesses are triggered by aging immune systems leading to such conditions as Hypertension, Heart Disease, Asthma, stroke, Lower respirations, Cancer Arthritis, and Diabetes, (Green, 2018). 4. Dignity, A quality of feeling worthy and seen as one with honor and esteem. 5. Safety is a huge concern for the elderly patient, functional limitations restrict doing usual activities speech and thought process are slower and the ability to walk and think clearly decreases making it more dangerous for the elderly, (Green, 2018).

Elderly abuse is often overlooked, it is physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological harm by a trusted person inflicted on older adults it also includes financial exploitation or neglect. Many elderly people are vulnerable to elderly abuse for many reasons, the mental status of a patient caused by dementia or confusion can be hard to determine if abuse is present and for that reason patients are abused. Another factor that is a form of abuse is neglect by a care giver that includes the appearance of the patient, bed sores or other preventable conditions. Many times, patients will not report abuse for fear of retaliation from the caregiver who is usually a spouse, partner, adult children, or other family members. Elder abuse may be difficult to detect, but detecting it may save the life of an older adult, ( Elder Abuse, 2020).

Respond using 200-300 words APA format with references to support the discussion

  Describe the characteristics of the aging process. Explain how some of the characteristics may lead to elder abuse (memory issues, vulnerability, etc.). Discuss the types of consideration a nurse must be mindful of while performing a health assessment on a geriatric patient as compared to a middle-aged adult. 

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