To plan care for older adults, it is essential to conduct adequate assessments. Conducting an assessment for elderly adults is crucial in understanding their health status, conditions affecting them, issues they face in maintaining good health, their needs, and their preferences. Also, the assessment is crucial in uncovering issues that should be researched to improve the quality of care and the health of older adults (Voros, 2018). The assessment should be effectively done to ensure that all necessary information is gathered. Some of the issues to consider are the independence of the elderly patient, their ability to avoid diseases, and the ability to maintain good health.
Background of the Interviewee
The interviewee, Mr. J.D., is a 71 years old male who lives alone. The interviewee is a widower. His wife passed away four years ago from a short illness. He is a father to three children two sons and one daughter. In addition, he is blessed to have four grandchildren. His adult children do not live far away, which makes it easy for the family to unite. He worked in the military for 40 years before his retirement. Also, he appears to be healthy and strong. During this interview, he attended a regular check-up at a VA clinic in his neighborhood. Regular check-ups have been essential to ensure that he monitors his health and manages any conditions that are likely to develop. He has type II diabetes, which he manages with proper dieting and physical activities.
Comparing and Contrasting Age-Related Changes
As people age, they start experiencing vision challenges. Mr. J.D. stated that he uses spectacle to read. He stated that he has been experiencing challenges reading without spectacles, especially in a room with minimal light. Drooping down of the eyelids in older adults leads to vision challenges. Also, Mr. J.D. stated that he has poor vision at night. Driving at night is always a challenge for him due to poor vision. Night driving for the elderly is considered dangerous due to the increased risk of accidents (Kachappillil, 2021). Mr. J.D. uses spectacles to improve his vision at night. This has dramatically improved his vision while driving at night.
In most cases, older people experience changes in nutrition and digestion. There are psychological events that highly influence the diets that the elderly follow. In cases where the elderly patient losses a family member, his or her dieting and nutrition may be significantly affected. Also, when an elderly patient lives alone, his or her nutrition and diet are highly affected (Mabiama et al., 2021). My interviewee stated that his nutrition and dieting behaviors significantly changed after the death of his wife. He is no longer in a position to follow a balanced diet. The process of mourning the loss of his wife led to him not following a healthy and balanced diet. This exposed him to malnutrition and other conditions associated with poor nutrition.
Moreover, Mr. J.D. reported that he had witnessed changes in his body’s energy, strength, and physical abilities. These are changes that all individuals experience as they age. As one ages, the muscle weakens, minimizing the physical activities that one can perform. In addition, the general endurance and strength of the muscles decrease as one ages. Despite being in the military for an extended period, his muscle strength and endurance have rapidly decreased with aging. Mr. J.D. stated that he finds it challenging to perform activities that he used to perform well 20 years ago.
Preliminary Issues Identified
One preliminary issue is the social environment and relationships. Considering that the older person interviewed lives alone, he experienced loneliness. Being alone in the house makes him feel lonely (Banerjee et al., 2022). Also, he has limited interaction with the community since he no longer works. Another preliminary issue is physical functioning. Mr. J.D. has experienced a significant decrease in strength, which has affected his physical abilities. Aging greatly influences muscle strength and mass, balance, posture, gait, and coordination (Kachappillil, 2021). The interviewee needs to gain muscle mass and strength, making it challenging to cope with hard tasks. Nutrition is another issue that was identified. Mr. J.D. has been having challenges in cooking and following a balanced diet. After losing his wife, he has had significant challenges cooking healthy foods.
The functionality of the cardiovascular system is another preliminary issue. Mr. J.D. stated that he was experiencing challenges in performing hard tasks. He added that he is experiencing an increased heart rate once he engages in physical activities. This occurred since the cardiovascular system has developed weak and vulnerable (Kachappillil, 2021). With aging, the cardiovascular system experiences a decrease in cardiac output, exercise capacity, and blood pressure. Another preliminary issue is emotional health. Mr. J.D. expresses his concerns about anxiety and depression (Banerjee et al., 2022). The loneliness after losing his wife has greatly affected him. In addition, aging is related to an increased risk of isolation, loneliness, and challenges in coping with anxiety and stress.
Alterations and Interventions
Depression, Anxiety, and Loneliness
After the death of his wife, Mr. J.D. has been suffering from loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Various interventions should be recommended to solve this issue. Mr. J.D. should be informed of the need to seek counseling services. Depression, anxiety, and loneliness are signs of mental health issues. Loneliness could lead to a mental health disorder (Banerjee et al., 2022). Counseling would be significant in ensuring that he copes with this issue and understands how to manage it. He should be encouraged to engage in social and support groups. It would be essential to help him seek a social support group of men and women who have lost their partners (Banerjee et al., 2022). This would help him in coping with the loss of his wife. Moreover, he should be encouraged to move closer to his family to ensure that he has adequate support and company. Support from family members is very crucial for the elderly.
Vision Problems and Challenges in Night Driving
Mr. J.D. is experiencing vision challenges. He is struggling to read, especially in a room with little light. Also, he has vision challenges at night, making driving a significant challenge at night. There are various recommendations that Mr. J.D. should be informed about that would be significant in addressing this issue. First, it would be significant for him to undergo regular check-ups for the eyes (Kachappillil, 2021). This would help monitor his vision and ensure a specialist provides him with the best medication to solve the vision challenge. Second, he should be informed to avoid driving at night. He should always let someone drive him at night or use public transport. Third, he should ensure that he wears his spectacles while reading and at night.
Mr. J.D. stated that since the death of his wife, he has been having challenges in cooking healthy and nutritious foods. He has been exposed to the risk of developing malnutrition. His wife had much knowledge concerning dieting and nutrition. To solve this issue, it would be significant to encourage Mr. J.D. to seek the services of a nutritionist. A nutritionist would help him identify and understand the foods he should be consuming and how to balance a diet. Nutrition and dieting are essential for maintaining good health (Mabiama et al., 2021). In addition, he should seek information about traditional Japanese foods. Traditional foods are considered to be healthy. Moreover, Mr. J.D. should be connected with grocery delivery services to deliver fresh groceries to his doorstep. Finally, Mr. J.D. should be informed of the need to take cooking classes which would be essential in equipping him with cooking skills and knowledge (Mabiama et al., 2021).
Aging is associated with various health issues, including vision, mental health, and malnutrition. Most older people living alone are exposed to numerous issues, such as loneliness, depression, stress, and malnutrition. In addition, most older people do not have access to quality and affordable care. Also, in most cases, older people do not access and afford healthy foods. After assessing Mr. J.D., it is clear he, like all older people, is facing various issues which may affect his health. In conclusion, it is essential to aid him in addressing most of these issues to promote the quality of his life and health.
Banerjee, A., Duflo, E., Grela, E., McKelway, M., Schilbach, F., Sharma, G., & Vaidyanathan, G. (2022). Depression and loneliness among the elderly poor. https://doi.org/10.3386/w30330
Kachappillil, A. J. (2021). Health problems among elderly – A community-based survey in a rural area of Ernakulam district. International Journal of Nursing Education and Research, pp. 325–327. https://doi.org/10.52711/2454-2660.2021.00076
Mabiama, G., Adiogo, D., Preux, P. M., Desport, J., Fayemendy, P., & Jésus, P. (2021). Nutritional status and associated factors among community-dwelling elderly. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, 45, 220-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2021.08.021
Voros, V. (2018). Quality of life of the elderly – Assessing physical and mental comorbidities. https://doi.org/10.26226/morressier.5a7070e7d462b80290b57bca