Assessing Geriatric Patients Research Paper

Assessing Geriatric Patients Research Paper

To prepare for this course’s Practicum Experience, reflect on implications of age-related changes in geriatric patients. Explain how you might differentiate between normal behaviors/disorders due to aging and abnormal behavior/disorders that are not age related. Include how functional assessments might help distinguish “normal” from “abnormal Assessing Geriatric Patients Research Paper.”

Any medical professional that cares for geriatric patients, must understand that the patient profile will increasingly comprise of older patients. At this point, it is notable that these geriatrics are more likely (when compared to their younger counterparts) to have unnoticed impairments and comorbidities that increase their risk of mortality, functional decline and medical morbidity. Time and again, medical personnel will not recognize the comorbidities affecting geriatrics since they are unlikely to the main focus of any clinical encounter, and remain unmentioned and unrecognized by the patient (Pilotto & Martin, 2018). Additionally, it is important to note that these affective, cognitive and functional problems are for the most part prevalent among elderly persons and can be alleviated through early detection and treatment. This means that medical personnel who care for elderly persons must have the capacity to recognize affective, cognitive and functional problems plaguing their patient to facilitate appropriate management and referral where necessary. Also, the medical personnel must be able to complete a brief functional assessment of elderly patients with the assessment effectively using medical interviewing skills to collect large amounts of accurate information from the patients (Pilotto & Martin, 2018).


In conducting functional assessment of elderly patients, it is recommended that open-ended interviews be used. That is because elderly persons will typically answer closed-ended questions at a slower pace while including pauses. The slow pace and pauses are likely to be misconstrued as an indication of dementia. Through using open-ended questions, the interviewer is expected to gain an advance idea or clue about the functional problems that the patient is experiencing (Kahn, Magauran Jr. & Olshaker, 2014). Even as the interview is conducted, it should be divided into two sections. The first section evaluates functional impairment by focusing on activities of daily living (ADL) such as feeding, grooming, transfers, toileting, dressing, and bathing. All the ADLs are considered as important aspects of self-care since supportive services would be required if the patient is unable to perform even one of the activities. Other than ADL, focus should also be on instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) such as laundry, housekeeping, financial management, transportation and driving, using the phone, meals preparation, shopping for grocery, and medicine administration. Unlike ADL the focuses on self-care, IADL focuses on independent living and failing any item in the IADL list would indicate a need for considering services required to maintain personal independence (Mattu, Grossman & Carpenter, 2016)Assessing Geriatric Patients Research Paper.

The second section evaluates cognitive impairment through using clock draw test (CDT) and item recall. This begins with the item recall where the interviewer mentions three unrelated items that asks the patient being interviewed to recall and mention the names of the three items. Next, the patient is subjected to the CDT and asked to draw a specific time on the clock face. Finally, the patient is asked to recall the previous three times mentioned in the first case. If the patient does not recall even a single item, then that would be an indication of dementia irrespective of the results from the CDT test. If the patient recalls one or two items and fails the CDT test, that would be an indication of dementia. If the patient recalls one or two items and passes the CDT test that would be an indication that dementia is absent. If the patient recalls all the three items, that would be an indication of the absence of dementia irrespective of the results from the CDT test (Busby-Whitehead et al., 2016). In this respect, geriatric patients experience age-related changes that are easily overlooked, unless they are subjected to open-ended interviews, and are likely to impact their health.


Busby-Whitehead, ‎J., Arenson, ‎C., Durson, S., Swagerty, D., Mosqueda, L., Singh, M. & Reichel, W. (2016). Reichel’s care of the elderly: clinical aspects of aging (7th ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kahn, J. H., Magauran Jr., B. G. & Olshaker, J. S. (2014). Geriatric emergency medicine: principles and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mattu, A., Grossman, S. & Carpenter, C. (2016). Geriatric emergencies: a discussion-based review. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Pilotto, A. & Martin, F. (2018). Comprehensive geriatric assessment. Cham: Springer International Publishing Assessing Geriatric Patients Research Paper.




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