Where to begin! Healing is slower, immunity is compromised, skin is super fragile, almost always there is an impaired organ- heart failure, kidney failure, dysfunctional bladder, compromised lungs, and diabetes. Sensory impairments- glaucoma, deafness, blindness, impaired sense of feeling so they could be hurt- wounds on feet, coccyx, hands and not really know due to impaired circulation. There is so much! If there is something wrong with them your go-to test is almost always a UA for a UTI.
Geriatric patients are either very afraid of dying or trying to meet it with dignity and be "ready". They often do not report issues that could be helped because they are ashamed. These people have worked hard and taken care of their families all their lives. Often they are now lonely, alone and becoming increasingly unable to care for themselves. The emotional aspect is easy to overlook when the patients do not complain.
Geriatrics requires more time to get things done. For example it is rare that older patients can take and swallow medications as younger patients. Dementia residents require a lot of understanding and patience
Geriatric pts have higher water content in their bodies. And drug dosages need to be reduced for comorbidities, i.e. renal failure, etc. They can have dementia related brain changes that cause confusion and insolence. The best advice I ever got was seek to understand their view of the problem rather than always force conformance.
Older adults have different conditions than what younger and middle age populations experience. As patients enter old age (usually 65 years old and older), it is important for nurses and medical providers to recognize that the treatment plan needs to be different. Issues such as incontinence, memory challenges, and mobility (in the older population) will require specialized care. Many elderly patients manage multiple medical disorders. This fact alone can lead to more complex conditions. Polypharmacy can be an issue which could include holistic medications, over-the-counter drugs, and prescriptions medication (ingested simultaneously) can be challenging even for geriatric specialists. Elderly patients may have symptoms that, at face value, do not seem to be connected to the presenting complaint. For example, an older patient falls, but the cause of the fall is something like urinary tract infection or pneumonia. Cognitive impairment could lead to difficulty describing symptoms, misdiagnosis, inability to advocate for themselves, and risk of elderly abuse (verbal, physical, and financial). It is so important for nurses and medical providers to recognize the fact that care of the elderly is different.
This population is very delicate. Can be dangerous with falls, medication toxicity. Sometime they can take a change for the worst really quickly. With staffing ratios in nursing homes or longterm care facilities it’s scary. With all the Medicare, Medicaid and state guidelines it’s hard to comply always because it’s not enough time time. Then if your in your survey window and the state walks in it’s so nerve recking because they watch your every move but if the state lowers the patient to staff ratio you can do all that is required and provide quality care that can maintain and improve patient quality of life.
You need to be able to put yourself u their place so you can understand what they are feeling. They ave lived a longtime usually and have experienced things You may never experience so the time yndwrsrabd,we're the are coming deim