As geriatric patients age, their health and functional stability may decline resulting in the inability to perform basic activities of daily living. In your role as the advanced practice nurse, you must assess whether the needs of these aging patients are being met. Comprehensive geriatric assessments are used to determine whether these patients have developed or are at risk of developing age-related changes that interfere with their functional status. Since the health status and living situation of geriatric patients often differ, there are a variety of assessment tools that can be used to evaluate wellness and functional ability. For this Discussion, consider which assessment tools would be appropriate for the patients in the following three case studies:
Case Study 1:
Mr. Smith, age 77, reports for an annual physical examination. He says he is doing well. His only known problem is osteoarthritis. He also requests a flu shot. He takes no medications other than Tylenol for arthritis pain. When he walks into the exam room, you notice that he is using a straight cane in his right hand. When you ask about the cane, he says he began using the cane because the pain in his right hip had increased significantly over the past 6 months.
Case Study 2:
Mr. Jones, a 68-year-old man, was referred to your office for a hearing evaluation. He continues to work in a printing company, although he works only part-time. He has worked at the printing company for the past 35 years. He complains that he cannot hear much of the dialogue on the television. He is accompanied by his wife, who states that her husband cannot hear her at home. He has no history of dizziness, tinnitus, or vertigo. He has had cerumen impactions removed from both ears in the past. Overall, his medical history is quite benign. His only medications are aspirin 81 mg daily, a multivitamin daily, and occasional ibuprofen for back pain.
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