Elderly Health Assessment and Care Planning

The Patient

The interviewed person is a seventy-five-year-old female. She worked as a pediatrician before retiring at the age of sixty. Her medical background shaped her views on exercise and dieting. Thus, her awareness levels are high, and she can evaluate her physical condition without the assistance of others. However, her health is still affected by her age. Moreover, the patient’s background makes her want to be independent in her daily life as she has medical experience and can engage with other medical professionals and describe her concerns. While mostly being helpful, this attitude can lead to mistrusting other doctors and extensive self-reliance.

Age-Related Changes

The interviewed patient is rather independent and capable of performing most activities on her own. However, some health concerns are present. First of all, the patient loses energy quickly and requires much time to rest. This issue is age-related as the patient did not experience this before. Her sleeping schedule changed to have additional sleeping breaks after lunch as well as after morning and evening walks. Secondly, the patient’s hypotension became more apparent with age. Her blood pressure is less stable than before, and she has to take prescribed medications to deal with that problem.

Other issues include food allergies that started to appear recently. The patient reports that some fruits and vegetables upset her stomach and lead to changes in her bowel movements. Thus, she had to exclude many products from her diet. Moreover, some products cause hives to appear on her skin. Spicy foods and some vegetables cause allergic reactions that are followed by her skin becoming red and itchy. These problems are also age-related because the patient’s body is not able to react to some products the same way as before. Moreover, her immune system is affected as well. Therefore, allergies appear more often and are followed by more symptoms.

The patient experiences heart problems and has a history of heart attacks. The causes of these heart attacks are closely connected to the patient’s age because coronary arteries become narrower with age. The patient’s levels of cholesterol influenced her heart’s condition. Moreover, she had a stroke several years ago, which affected her ability to speak. However, she exercised enough to be able to make full sentences and express her thoughts rather clearly. These issues affect various aspects of her life significantly. However, she can perform activities independently regardless of these problems.

Alterations in Health

The patient monitors her health with much attention to detail. Thus, it was difficult to outline some significant changes that she can implement to improve her current situation. However, some advice can be given for further consideration. First of all, the patient should pay attention not only to her physical but also to her mental health. Assessing one’s mental state is essential to remain healthy. Thus, the patient should evaluate her moods and see whether she has some stress-related problems. Some age-related problems may be followed by a person feeling incapable of taking care of him or herself. By assessing her well-being and mental stability, the patient can greatly change her attitude towards many aspects of her life.

Secondly, the patient prefers to perform all activities without other people’s help. While this behavior contributes to her well-being, it puts her health at risk due to her age. Thus, she should consider asking for assistance and using some walking aids. Furthermore, the patient does not communicate her problems with her friends and family. Communication is essential to older people as it allows them to find help and feel more secure. Engaging her children and younger friends as well as helping other friends her age may help the patient to deal with any existing issues.

Finally, the patient can consider moving to a location more suitable for her age. She currently has to walk up and down the stairs daily, which can significantly affect her energy levels and tire her out. The patient should consider quiet places distant from the loud and busy city life. These alterations would bring such changes to the patient’s health as more time to herself, less waste of energy on daily tasks, and mental stability.

Interventions

The identified problems in the patient’s health can be treated with a number of interventions. The first issue is connected to low levels of energy. To mitigate this problem, the patient can consider using walking aids, shorten her walks, or limit them to one walk per day. These changes will allow the patient to preserve energy, while still being able to go outside and have time for exercising. Moreover, the patient can move to another location as well. Asking a friend to walk with her may also be a viable solution to this issue. The problem of hypotension can be regulated by the use of certain medications. Moreover, the patient should hydrate properly and add salt to her diet. She can also wear compression clothing to relieve possible swelling in her legs.

Food allergies can be hard to treat because the patient does not know which products cause some of the issues. Thus, the first intervention, in this case, can be to obtain more information about the patient’s allergic responses through various tests. After the allergens are found they should be excluded from the diet. The patient can try going to a dietician to create a meal plan adjusted to her individual needs. Moreover, she can research alternative products that do not cause allergic reactions. Foods that result in the patient having problems with digestion should be excluded as well.

The presence of heart problems is unavoidable in this age. However, one can reduce the risk of reoccurring issues. The patient can take medications that lower cholesterol levels. Moreover, she should adjust her diet to reduce the consumption of foods with high levels of cholesterol. For example, the patient can include more products that are high in fiber and low in fat. Physical activity is also essential to avoid further complications. However, one should remember to rest and exercise according to one’s abilities. Rehabilitation from a stroke also has some possible steps. The patient can join various rehabilitation programs to improve her speech and mobility further. She should also search for preventive therapies. The use of communication aids is possible as well. Finally, the patient can join a support group to share her experiences and create new positive connections.

Appendix

Patient Questionnaire

Brief Introduction (Background information)

The interviewed individual is seventy-five years old. She is not working. Before reaching the age of retirement, the patient worked as a pediatrician.

  1. Philosophy on living a long life.
    The patient believes that living a long life is not a choice but a goal that every human being should aspire to reach. She also says that long-living is connected to change and one’s ability to adapt to it.
  2. Thoughts about when a person is considered “too old”.
    The patient believes that there is no such thing as being “too old.” However, she says that many people from her family think that she is too old to care for herself.
  3. Opinion on the status and treatment of older adults.
    The patient believes that medical professionals often dismiss seniors’ health concerns because of their age.
  4. Beliefs about health and illness.
    The patient states that health can be achieved with exercising, a balanced diet, and the responsible use of medication. She thinks that many illnesses appear in people that do not pay enough attention to their bodies.
  5. Health promotion activities he or she participates in.
    The patient takes long walks daily and tries to spend much time outside. She also follows a morning exercise routine.
  6. Something special that helped the person live so long.
    The patient was a medical professional for a rather long time. Thus, she can assess her mental and physical health and find possible solutions to various health problems.
  7. The lifespan of other family members.
    The patient’s husband is eighty-two years old. Other members of the family include the patient’s children of fifty-four and fifty years old.
  8. Special dietary traditions in patient’s culture attributed to aiding long life.
    The patient’s diet is devoid of fried, spicy, and unhealthy foods. She tries to avoid products that caused allergic reactions earlier in life.
  9. Any remedies/medications that have been handed down in family/group.
    The patient thinks that various herbal teas are useful for different conditions. Moreover, she washes her hair with a chamomile infusion believing that it keeps her hair healthy.
  10. Patient’s description of current and past health status.
    The patient admits that her health has deteriorated in the previous five years. However, she describes her condition as stable and says that her current health status is adequate to her age.
  11. The values that guided life so far.
    Children and family are the most important values of life, according to the patient.

Additional Questions

  1. Advice to other older people.
    The patient argues that morning and evening walks as well as regular exercise are not hard for older adults to perform. These types of exercise can help one to gain control over his or her health.
  2. Something to avoid in one’s health assessment.
    People should not panic and try to find symptoms that are not there. Becoming anxious about one’s health at this age is easy
  3. Devices that can help older adults.
    The patient uses a cane to walk if she does not feel well. However, she believes that people should try to avoid extensive use of additional items if it is possible.

Summary

The patient has a rather positive outlook on her health condition. She has an exercise routine and moves a lot. Moreover, she uses various drugs and avoids unhealthy foods. All in all, her attitude is optimistic.

The contrast of Client’s Responses with Findings in Current Literature

According to Ghasemi, Keshavarz Mohammadi, Mohammadi Shahboulaghi, and Ramezankhani (2017), many older people require additional devices to help with existing conditions. Moreover, the belief that most illnesses come because of people’s inattention is controversial as many conditions are predetermined or caused by non-personal reasons.

Functional Assessment

Tinetti Balance and Gait Evaluation

The patient’s total score is 24 out of 28 on the scale (“Tinetti balance assessment,” 2017). Thus, there is a low risk of falls for this person.

Katz Index of Activities of Daily Living

The patient scores 6 out of 6 points of the index of independence (MaineHealth, 2017). She can dress herself, cook, and perform other daily activities.

Assessment of Home Safety

The patient lives in an apartment on the third floor of the building. Outdoor concerns include lack of lighting at night and lack of outdoor bars (University at Buffalo, 2017). The inside of the apartment presents such issues as the presence of scatter rugs on the floor, high cabinets in the kitchen, the presence of an active pet, and no grab bars or a bath chair in the bathroom. All in all, the apartment is clean and comfortably furnished.

The Barthel Index

The patient has a score of 95 out of 100 on the Barthel index (Internet Stroke Center, 2017). She is capable of independent living as she performs most activities without help.

References

Ghasemi, S., Keshavarz Mohammadi, N., Mohammadi Shahboulaghi, F., & Ramezankhani, A. (2017). A critical review of studies on the health needs assessment of elderly in the world. Elderly Health Journal, 3(1), 1-9.

Internet Stroke Center. (2017). The Barthel index. Web.

MaineHealth. (2017). Katz index of independence in activities of daily living. Web.

Tinetti balance assessment tool. (2017). Web.

University at Buffalo. (2017). Home safety self-assessment tool. Web.