In addition to our patients' Medical, Cognitive, Functional and Psychosocial Domains, the following are important considerations in their care:
Vision: Cataracts, macular degeneration, and others may cause vision impairment. This has implications on seeing their pills or discharge instructions.
Hearing: Elderly patients tend to lose the ability to hear higher frequency sounds.
- Speak in a lower toned voice to make it easier to hear.
- Pocket talkers are much more affordable alternative to hearing aids
Slower response time: Speaking or moving quickly leads to medical mistakes and/or inadvertent injury or consequences. Remember to slow down.
Team Players: Our geriatric patients often have a multidisciplinary team
- MD's from different subspecialties
- Registered nurses
- LVN's: Licensed vocational nurse
- MA's: Medical assistants
- PT/OT: Physical and Occupational therapists
- Case/discharge planner
- Speech therapist
- Family and caregivers
Goals of Care: Always initiate early on in relationship, either at 1st or 2nd meeting and then periodically after that – a discussion about goals of care. This is often not asked at other times. And also, it will help guide your approach to intervention
- Includes discussion about overall quality of life
Homeostenosis: As our patients age, there is a reduction (or stenosis) of their reserve capacity. In other words, as patients age and develop more chronic cognitive and medical problems, they spend more and more energy to maintain the status quo.
A. Diabetes, osteoarthritis (chronic conditions)
B. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease
C. Stroke, hip fracture