Topic 5: Health Assessment of the Older Adult

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NRS 434 Topic 5: Health Assessment of the Older Adult

Topic 5: Health Assessment of the Older Adult

Shadow Health Focused Abdominal Assessment With Esther

Complete the Digital Experience. The estimated average time to complete this assignment is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Please note, this is an average time. Some students may need longer.

This clinical experience is a focused exam. Students have one opportunity to complete this assignment and score at the Proficiency level. Upon completion, submit the lab pass to the instructor in the classroom.

Students successfully scoring within the Proficiency level in the Digital Clinical Experience will earn a grade of 100 points. Students who do not pass the performance-based assessment and scoring within the Proficiency level will receive a failing grade (68 points).

Please review the assignment in the Health Assessment Student Handbook in Shadow Health prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are not required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite.

Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum

The benchmark assesses the following competency:

Benchmark: 5.1. Understand the human experience across the health-illness continuum.

Research the health-illness continuum and its relevance to patient care. In a 750-1,000 word paper, discuss the relevance of the continuum to patient care and present a perspective of your current state of health in relation to the wellness spectrum. Include the following:

  1. Examine the health-illness continuum and discuss why this perspective is important to consider in relation to health and the human experience when caring for patients.
  2. Reflect on your overall state of health. Discuss what behaviors support or detract from your health and well-being. Explain where you currently fall on the health-illness continuum.
  3. Discuss the options and resources available to you to help you move toward wellness on the health-illness spectrum. Describe how these would assist in moving you toward wellness (managing a chronic disease, recovering from an illness, self-actualization, etc.).

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required. Topic 5: Health Assessment of the Older Adult

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the  for assistance.

Topic 5 DQ 1: Topic 5: Health Assessment of the Older Adult

Describe the characteristics of the aging process. Explain how some of the characteristics may lead to elder abuse (memory issues, vulnerability, etc.). Discuss the types of consideration a nurse must be mindful of while performing a health assessment on a geriatric patient as compared to a middle-aged adult.

As adults age into older adults, they go through many changes. Physical changes such as graying thinning hair, joint mobility, or muscle wasting may begin to become more prominent (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Additionally, cognitive health may also start to change. Older adults may start to see a loss in short-term memory or the ability to concentrate and organize (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development places adults that are 65 years and older into the Ego Integrity vs. Despair phase. This is often a time in an older adult’s life filled with reflection of the past. Adults experience feelings of satisfaction looking back on their lives while some may be filled with regret that were not able to accomplish everything they hoped to in life (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Overall, the aging process of the older adult consists of cognitive, physical, emotional and many other changes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year” (“Elder abuse”, 2018 para.1). Abuse can be inflicted through many different forms such as financial, physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect (“Elder Abuse and Neglect”, 2019). Older adults are physically frailer, may not hear or see as clearly as they used to, or may have mental ailments which put them at a high risk for abuse or getting taken advantage of (“Elder Abuse and Neglect”, 2019). If an adult cannot hear or see as well, this may cause frustration from their family or caregiver. A family adult caregiver may be stressed taking care of their loved one and feel isolated, depressed, or mentally overwhelmed. This also can place the older adult at risk for abuse from a close loved one (“Elder Abuse and Neglect”, 2019).

Assessment of the older adult versus middle-age adult is different because it factors in the expected changes of this population. The nurse must consider physical and cognitive changes when examining this patient. According to chapter 5 in our text (Grand Canyon University, 2018), assessing the hearing acuity of an older adult may be difficult since the individual may not even be aware of the loss that has happened over time. Additionally, the nurse needs to incorporate a cognitive assessment which typically is not necessary for the middle-aged adult. Recognizing cognitive deficits early is important since some of these conditions can be reversible or managed with medications (Grand Canyon University, 2018). If the cognitive screening would be positive, the nurse could help refer the patient for further in-depth screening (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Assessing the patient’s household situation, support systems, and their ability to complete activities of daily living should also be incorporated into the exam.


Elder Abuse and Neglect. (2019, June). Retrieved from

Elder Abuse. (2018, June 8). Retrieved from

Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Health assessment: Foundations for effective practice. Retrieved from

Topic 5 DQ 2: Topic 5: Health Assessment of the Older Adult

End-of-life care becomes an issue at some point for elderly clients. Even with the emergence of palliative care programs and hospice programs, most elderly people do not die in their own home as is their preference. What are the reasons for this trend? Discuss what you can do as a nurse to support your clients regarding end-of-life care in accordance with their wishes. Support your response with evidence-based literature.

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