Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by Admin
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
Describe the characteristics of the aging process. Explain
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.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Characteristics of Aging
Scholars have not developed a specific definition of the term aging. However, in general terms, aging in humans is the process of growing older as time goes. In terms of health, aging can be characterized in many ways. Lipska et al. (2016) mention that aging people have the following features. First, an aging person urinates frequently because of relaxed bladder muscles.
The muscles can relax due to irritation, infection, or any other cause. Second, an aging individual has weaker bones, muscles, and joints as compared to a middle-aged or a young person. Also, as a person grows old, his heart rate may pump slower, and thus leading to many medical problems. Lastly, aging is characterized by poor eyesight.
Some of the aging characteristics can make gaged individuals face various types of elder abuse. Senior people can be abused because of their poor eyesight. For instance, a person can make them sign fake documents that may cause them to lose their property due to poor eyesight. Also, aged people with hearing problems can be misinformed by people caring for them because of their condition.
Abbruzzese and Simon (2018) mention that senior people might be left in their rooms alone and isolated because they have week joints, muscles, and bones and cannot move.
Caring for Senior Patients
A nurse must consider certain things before they medically assess their patients. First, they must consider their hearing capacity. For elderly patients with hearing problems, the nurses must get their attention through speaking their names and touching their shoulder gently. When the patients have sight issues, the nurses should write instructions in clear and bold handwriting.
Abbruzzese, L. D., & Simon, P. (2018). Special Concerns for the LGBT Aging Patient: What Rehab Professionals Should Know. Current Geriatrics Reports, 7(1), 26-36.
Lipska, K. J., Krumholz, H., Soones, T., & Lee, S. J. (2016). Polypharmacy in the aging patient: a review of glycemic control in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Jama, 315(10), 1034-1045.
DQ 1 Alternative Answer 2
Characteristics of the Ageing Process
The human body is programmed to become weaker with age. This is because of a higher rate of cell death and a lower potential of the body cells to regenerate among the older individuals. In the US, there are over 50 million individuals above 65 years, a number which has been increasing over the years (Crimmins et al., 2017).
Most of the theories that explain ageing emphasize on the fact that it is not possible for people to avoid the passage of time, but clearly explain that the rate of aging can definitely be slowed. Nurses who attend to geriatric patients are asked to give more attention to the specific health needs of ageing people such as memory loss associated complications.
Characteristics of the Ageing Process
One of the principal characteristics of the aging process is decline in function of senses that make the geriatric patients unable to live by themselves. For instance, vision loss, which is common among them, means that they can no longer read medical subscription instructions, and can make more mistakes (Crimmins et al., 2017). Hence, nurses are entitled to always assisting the elderly patients with the tasks that are related to sight, hearing, and other senses.
How Some of These Characteristics May Lead To Abuse
Elder abuse may happen when the nurses in charge have the assumption that the geriatric patients are capable of handling their own activities of daily living (ADLs) and even comes to the point of harassing them. A good example of a nurse abuse for geriatrics is the claims by the daughters of Henry Ford II that their mother (and the widow of Henry Ford) was being abused by a dozen nurses (Rowe, Fulmer, & Fried, 2016).
Considerations When Attending To the Health of Ageing Patients
Among the considerations that a nurse should have when performing care to the elderly patients is the fact that most of these elderly patients have already lost a large part of their cognitive function, and should be treated like children. Also, unlike middle-aged adults, the ageing patients are more likely to have less moral support from the family members, and hence nurses should be ready to give them the same.
Crimmins, E. M., Beltrán-Sánchez, H., Brown, L., & Yon, Y. (2017). Ageing in North America: Canada and the United States. Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine.
Rowe, J. W., Fulmer, T., & Fried, L. (2016). Preparing for better health and health care for an aging population. Jama, 316(16), 1643-1644.
DQ 2 Expert Answer and Explanation
Role of Nurses in End of Life Care
During old age, most patients wish to die in their lovely homes beside in the presence of their loved ones. However, their wishes may not be fulfilled due to many factors. Most senior patients still die in hospitals because some of the illnesses ailing them are not covered by palliative care and hospice programs. Therefore, when they get ill, they are run to the hospital to get proper medical attention.
Another reason is that some family members may not allow their loved ones to die on their watch (Chan et al., 2016). Thus, instead of letting the elderly patients die at home, they take them to various hospitals in a move to save the patients’ lives. Also, patients may die in hospitals because their diseases cannot be managed at home. For instance, patients who need intensive care units, CT scans must be taken to a medical facility and might die there when receiving treatments.
Nurses play critical roles at the end of life care. Wright et al. (2016) argue that they can offer guidance and counseling to families faced with a challenge to provide proper care for their loved ones. For instance, nurses can provide medication that can help the patient die in peace without pain. During the end of life, families are often scared, confused, and overwhelmed.
Nurses can help these families by offering emotional support to families (Chan et al., 2016). Lastly, nurses’ role during this time is to provide pain management medication that can make their patients feel more comfortable. Also, they must physiologically help the patients and their loved ones accept the sad reality.
Chan, R. J., Webster, J., & Bowers, A. (2016). End‐of‐life care pathways for improving outcomes in caring for the dying. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2).
Wright, A. A., Keating, N. L., Ayanian, J. Z., Chrischilles, E. A., Kahn, K. L., Ritchie, C. S., … & Landrum, M. B. (2016). Family perspectives on aggressive cancer care near the end of life. Jama, 315(3), 284-292.
Related Answered Questions
What are the Characteristics of the Aging Process?
Aging is an inevitable and natural process that every living being experiences. It is a complex phenomenon influenced by various factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental elements. As we age, our bodies and minds undergo numerous changes, leading to a unique set of characteristics that define the aging process. In this article, we will delve into the intriguing aspects of aging, exploring its physical, cognitive, emotional, and social dimensions.
Understanding the Aging Process
The Natural Aging Phenomenon
Aging is a biological process that begins from the moment of conception and continues throughout our lives. It involves a gradual decline in the body’s ability to repair and regenerate cells, leading to visible changes over time. While aging is a natural progression, it is not a uniform experience for everyone. Different individuals may age at varying rates due to genetic variations and lifestyle choices.
Factors Influencing Aging
Several factors influence the aging process, and while some are beyond our control, others can be managed to some extent. Genetic makeup, for instance, plays a significant role in determining how we age. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress management, and exposure to harmful substances can also impact the rate of aging.
Characteristics of the Aging Process
One of the most apparent characteristics of aging is the physical changes that occur in the body. As we age, the skin loses its elasticity, resulting in wrinkles and age spots. Muscle mass and bone density decrease, leading to reduced strength and mobility. Vision and hearing may also decline, and chronic health conditions may become more prevalent.
Aging can bring about changes in cognitive functions. While some degree of cognitive decline is normal, severe changes in memory, attention, and problem-solving may indicate underlying health issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, it’s important to note that cognitive decline is not a universal aspect of aging, and many individuals maintain sharp mental acuity well into their later years.
Emotional changes are also part of the aging process. As life circumstances evolve, older adults may experience a shift in their emotional well-being. They may find greater contentment and emotional stability or face challenges related to loss and loneliness. Cultivating emotional resilience and seeking support from loved ones can help navigate these changes successfully.
Aging often involves significant social changes. Older adults may experience shifts in their social circles due to factors such as retirement, relocation, or the loss of friends and family. Maintaining an active social life, participating in community activities, and nurturing relationships can contribute to a sense of fulfillment during this phase of life.
Impact of Aging on Health and Lifestyle
Managing Age-Related Health Challenges
While aging brings some health challenges, adopting a healthy lifestyle can mitigate their impact. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and regular health check-ups are essential components of healthy aging. It is also crucial to manage chronic conditions effectively and follow medical advice to maintain overall well-being.
Promoting Healthy Aging
Promoting healthy aging goes beyond physical health. Engaging in intellectually stimulating activities, pursuing hobbies, and staying socially connected are equally vital for maintaining a high quality of life as we age.
Psychological Aspects of Aging
Coping with Aging
Coping with the aging process involves embracing change and adopting a positive mindset. Acknowledging the reality of aging and finding ways to adapt to new circumstances can foster a sense of empowerment.
Embracing Life Transitions
Life is a series of transitions, and aging marks a significant phase of this journey. Embracing life transitions and viewing them as opportunities for growth and learning can help older adults approach aging with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Societal Attitudes towards Aging
Ageism: Breaking the Stereotypes
Societal attitudes toward aging can significantly impact how older adults perceive themselves and how they are treated by others. Addressing ageism and breaking stereotypes associated with aging is essential for promoting a more inclusive and empathetic society.
Aging Gracefully: Tips for a Fulfilling Life
Regular physical activity, tailored to individual capabilities, can contribute to enhanced physical well-being and energy levels.
Engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as puzzles, reading, or learning new skills can help maintain cognitive vitality.
Nurturing social connections and participating in community events can combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, fostering a sense of belonging.
The aging process is a unique journey that encompasses various physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes. Embracing aging with a positive outlook and making conscious efforts to maintain physical and mental well-being can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding life. By breaking stereotypes and promoting inclusivity, we can create a society that cherishes and respects individuals of all ages.
FAQ 1: Can we reverse the aging process?
Aging is a natural process, and while we cannot reverse it, adopting a healthy lifestyle can slow down its effects and improve overall well-being.
FAQ 2: How does nutrition affect aging?
A balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in healthy aging, providing essential nutrients to support bodily functions and combat age-related health challenges.
FAQ 3: What role does genetics play in the aging process?
Genetics influences how we age, with certain genes associated with longevity and others linked to age-related health conditions.
FAQ 4: Is there a connection between mental health and aging?
Mental health is closely linked to aging, and maintaining mental well-being is vital for cognitive vitality and overall life satisfaction as we age.
FAQ 5: How can one combat age-related loneliness and isolation?
Staying socially active, maintaining meaningful relationships, and participating in community activities can help combat age-related loneliness and isolation, fostering a sense of belonging and connection.
What are the 5 stages of aging?
The concept of “stages of aging” is often used to describe the general progression of the aging process and the typical changes that occur during different phases of life. These stages are not fixed or rigid, as aging experiences can vary significantly from person to person. However, here are five broad stages commonly associated with aging:
Early Adulthood: This stage typically spans from the late teens to the mid-30s. During this period, individuals are in their physical prime, with high energy levels and fewer age-related health concerns. Early adulthood is characterized by building careers, forming relationships, and starting families.
Middle Adulthood: Middle adulthood generally includes individuals in their 40s and 50s. At this stage, there might be some visible signs of aging, such as graying hair and subtle changes in physical appearance. People in this stage often face various life challenges, such as balancing work and family responsibilities.
Late Adulthood: Late adulthood encompasses the age group of 60 and older. This stage is marked by more noticeable physical changes, such as reduced muscle mass, decreased bone density, and changes in sensory functions. Cognitive changes may also become more apparent, but many individuals continue to lead active and fulfilling lives.
Old Age: Old age typically refers to individuals aged 75 and older. During this stage, age-related health issues may become more prevalent, and daily activities may require assistance or modification. Despite physical challenges, older adults can maintain emotional and intellectual well-being through social engagement and mental stimulation.
End of Life: This final stage refers to the period nearing the end of a person’s life. It is a time of reflection and may involve varying levels of medical care and support. This stage is unique to each individual and is influenced by factors such as overall health, lifestyle choices, and access to healthcare.
What are physiological characteristics of aging?
Physiological characteristics of aging refer to the natural changes that occur in the body as a person grows older. These changes are a part of the aging process and are influenced by various factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. While these physiological changes are normal and expected, they can vary from person to person. Here are some common physiological characteristics of aging:
Skin Changes: As people age, their skin undergoes various changes. It becomes thinner and may lose some of its elasticity, leading to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Age spots and changes in pigmentation may also occur due to prolonged sun exposure over the years.
Muscle Mass and Strength Reduction: With advancing age, there is a gradual decline in muscle mass and strength. This process, known as sarcopenia, can lead to reduced physical strength and endurance.
Bone Density Decrease: Aging is often associated with a decrease in bone density, making bones more prone to fractures and osteoporosis.
Changes in Vision: Many older adults experience changes in vision. This can include a reduced ability to focus on nearby objects (presbyopia) and an increased risk of eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Hearing Loss: Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is a common physiological change in older adults. It can affect the ability to hear high-frequency sounds and understand speech clearly.
Cardiovascular Changes: The cardiovascular system may undergo changes with age, such as a decrease in the heart’s pumping efficiency and an increased risk of hypertension and heart-related conditions.
Digestive System Changes: Aging can lead to a slower metabolism and changes in the digestive system, potentially causing issues like constipation or difficulty absorbing certain nutrients.
Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes occur as people age, including fluctuations in estrogen and testosterone levels in both men and women, leading to various physiological effects.
Reduced Lung Function: Lung function may decline with age, making it harder for older adults to take deep breaths and increasing the risk of respiratory issues.
Cognitive Changes: While cognitive decline is not universal, some individuals may experience changes in memory, attention, and other cognitive functions as they age.
Immune System Changes: The immune system’s effectiveness may decrease with age, leading to a higher susceptibility to infections and diseases.
Metabolic Rate Decline: The body’s metabolic rate tends to slow down with age, which can contribute to weight gain and changes in body composition.