Nursing with Dr. Hobbick

Aging and Older Adults

January 14, 2022 Dr. Stacey Hobbick Season 1 Episode 2
Nursing with Dr. Hobbick
Aging and Older Adults
Show Notes Transcript

Nursing care highlights for aging and older adults. 

Unknown:

Hey, welcome to nursing with Dr. Hobbick. So today we're going to talk about aging and older adults. So as nurses, we're going to encounter a lot of older adults. First thing we need to think about are all of the myths and stereotypes that are available out there. So we, at least the culture I grew up in, we think of older adults as ill or unattractive. If you think about the stereotypical witch, she's got a big nose with a wart and hairy chin, and, you know, she's really ugly. So that's not really true. We need to think about the fact that we don't intrinsically change as we age. So the people who are older are still interested in the same thing. So we want to make sure that we're taking part into those myths or stereotypes. There's a lot of health issues that affect older adults. Hydration is a big one impaired nutrition. Obviously, we may see some decrease in mobility, they experience a lot of losses, and not just deaths of obviously, the older they get, the more likely they are to have a death in their family, death of a spouse, death of even children, but they also lose things like their livelihood, they lose income, they lose the part of their ego, that was their profession, like I'm a nurse. And so when I retire, am I still a nurse? That is something to think about, we need to make sure that we are thinking about Erickson when we're thinking about nursing. So for our older adults, it's integrity versus despair. So a lot of times older adults are going to reminisce. And it's totally fine to allow them to reminisce. Something that we need to assess for older adults is functional status. So when we see changes in their performance of their activities of daily living, we need to think about what disease process or worsening condition is causing that. Knowing about the different cognitive disorders, we can see, well, they are not common or normal expected signs of aging, we do see people who have delirium, dementia and depression, these can look like each other. Delirium is either hypoactive, hyperactive or mixed. And you can imagine what that looks like delirium is an acute confusional state. Dementia is a generalized impairment, or progressive disease. And then depression is obviously a mood disturbance, someone dealing with all of these losses that are older adults go through can certainly experienced depression and hypoactive, delirium can look like depression. So that's some screening that we really need to do. We need to also consider that older adults are disproportionately affected by poor health literacy in this country. So we can not ever assume that our patients know exactly what we're talking about. We really need to make sure that they understand what their medications are, what the treatments are, what their condition is, what they can do to make their life better, and how to take their medications the correct way. I hope you enjoyed talking about older adults, and we'll see you next time on nursing with Dr. Hobbick.