NSG 4067 Week 2 Discussion
The two most prevalent age-related changes affecting older people’s lifestyles are vision and gait instability.
Our textbook states, “Because of age-related visual changes, older adults experience an increased sensitivity to glare and have difficulty seeing clearly when they face bright lights or when lights reflect off shiny surfaces. For instance, older adults may have difficulty seeing clearly when they are driving toward the sunlight or reading shopping mall maps in glass cases. In addition to this age-related change, older adults are likely to have disease-related conditions, such as cataracts, that further interfere with their visual abilities” (Miller, 2018, p. 38). Difficulty with vision and seeing as they did before aging can influence the safety and acceptance of aging. With that, we often begin to compensate for subtle changes like increasing the light to read or wearing sunglasses during the day due to glare. As a nurse, we can help an elderly patient adjust to visual changes by first educating on the physiological modifications and then by adjusting those specific areas experienced by each patient.
A decrease in physical function, including gait instability and decline in mobility, is the second largest age-related change I feel that affects the lifestyle of older people. “A physical functional limitation is a dichotomous variable indicating self-reported difficulty with at least one of nine functions: climbing a flight of stairs without resting; getting up from a chair; picking up a dime; reaching/extending arms up; pushing or pulling large objects; sitting for 2 hours; lifting and carrying 10 pounds; stooping, kneeling, and crouching; and walking several blocks” (Choi, Schoeni, & Martin, 2016). That same article, found by our professor, contained statistics from 1998-2012, stating that 57.91% of people aged 55-69 reported physical function limitations (Choi, Schoeni, & Martin, 2016). A nurse can help adjust to the changes in functional mobility by performing practical assessments to identify the exact impairments further and adapt accordingly. Many improvements can be made to applicable limitations. For example, a home modification may be to remove throw rugs, install hall and bathroom lighting, clear pathways, and install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet.
Limited functionality is a safety concern and can affect their quality of life and acceptance of ageism. It’s essential to keep the mind and body active and perform the necessary changes to improve safety.
NSG 4067 Week 2 Discussion
I have used the two modes of communication for older people in my clinical practice: listening and attending and non-verbal communication. Listening is essential for good communication and is very crucial for a healthcare worker to use. I work with more elderly patients in the Endocrinology world. Some prefer to use me instead of writing about what they feel or things that stress them because they need to know and trust me.
Nonverbal communication is regularly shown by the person’s “body language’. Body language can tell you abundant information about the person before you. Even though people think they are saying the right things, the message can be confusing if the body language shows that they feel something completely different. The nonverbal communication of the older population speaks volumes about their commitment to the contact they have. It is so tall that their posture, facial expression, outward appearance, and touch match the words they are saying.
Both of these methods were very effective communication modes for me. This is because when listening to my patients, I can understand them and treat them precisely their needs. I use different parts of non-verbal communication, UC, such as body posture, eye contact, facial expression, and touch. With the correct body posture and eye contact, the older population tends to feel comfortable and trust me so that we can treat them. If I approach them with a smile, they feel I am ready to help them, and they will communicate their problems to me. This will also help me with the treatment that they need to be given.
Miller, C. A. (2/1/2018). Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults, 8th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from vbk://9781975100735
Choi, H., Schoeni, R. F., & Martin, L. G. (2016, October 26). Are functional and activity limitations becoming more prevalent among 55 to 69-year-olds in the United States? PLoS One 11(10). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164565
Ni, P. (2014, November 16). How to Communicate Effectively With Older Adults. Retrieved April 4, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201411/how-communicate-effectively-older-adults
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NSG 4067 Week 2 Discussion
Discussion Question 1
What do you think are the two most prevalent age-related changes that affect the lifestyle of older people?
How would you help an elderly patient adjust to the two changes you identified?
Discussion Question 2
- Identify at least two modes of communication you have used for older people in your clinical practice.
- State what modes of communication were effective and which modes were challenging. Explain why.
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