Post a thoughtful response to at least two (2) other colleagues’ initial postings. Responses to colleagues should be supportive and helpful (examples of an acceptable comment are: “This is interesting – in my practice, we treated or resolved (diagnosis or issue) with (x, y, z meds, theory, management principle) and according to the literature…” and add supportive reference. Avoid comments such as “I agree” or “good comment.”
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Response posts: Minimum of one (1) total reference: one (1) from peer-reviewed or course materials reference per response.
- Response posts: Minimum 100 words excluding references.
Nursing is constantly evolving with every patient which allows for every nurse to bring their own experiences, beliefs, and values to the nursing practice. In this post I will summarize what wellness within chronic illness means to me, discuss what are some consequences of pain in the older adult, and lastly the age-related changes that affect psychological and cognitive functioning.
People are living longer. Which means many people are expected to have one chronic illness in their lifetime (Morton & Dunn, 2015). I believe wellness within a chronic illness is achieved. One must be able to adapt to this illness. Although some people can view a chronic illness negatively, one needs to make a commitment to keep going forward and not let that illness stop them from enjoying life (Touhy & Jett, 2010).
Pain can affect one’s life physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually (Alvardo Garcia & Salazar Maya, 2015). Pain can cause sleep disorders, loss of appetite, and even reduce one’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Pain can cause a negative quality of life. As we age, cognitive impairments occur. When one is cognitively impaired they may not be able express pain obviously. Restlessness or withdrawal are a couple signs of pain in an elderly adult (Touhy & Jett, 2010).
Lastly age-related changes can affect ones psychological and cognitive function. As one ages, it is important to make sure vision and hearing tests are being done regularly so these do not cause barriers in everyday life. As I watched the video the Elder Project, Clara is 88 years old and lives alone. Her vision has declined drastically, and it affects her everyday living. She is also experiencing memory issues. She is scared to go out alone because she became lost and couldn’t remember where to go. Although there is no definite answer on why one gets diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is a prevalent age-related disease. Joanna is 81 years old and had been living alone. However, she has been also losing her memory. Joanna is very happy. She does not realize she is losing her memory. She thinks life is great. However, her daughter is facing many challenges. The roles become reversed. She now needs to make sure her mom is taken care of and safe.
In conclusion, aging is inevitable. As nurses we learn from our patients and their age-related changes. Evidence-based practice for elders helps improve access, and the quality of health services available (Morton & Dunn, 2015). Being able to adapt to a chronic illness brings wellness. Pain in the older adult can cause a negative quality of life. And lastly, as one ages, early detection to vision, hearing, or cognitive function has been proven to improve health outcomes.
Alvardo Garcia, A. M., & Salazar Maya, A. M. (2015). Adaptation to chronic benign pain in elderly adults. Invest Educ Enferm, 33(1), 138-147.
Morton, S., & Dunn, W. (2015, July 17). Addressing the health needs of an aging America: New opportunities for evidence-based policy solutions. University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute. https://doi.org/www.healthpolicyinstitute.pitt.edu…
The Elder Project: Seven Seniors Face the Future. Video
Touhy, T. A., & Jett, K. F. (2010). Gerontological Nursing & Healthy Aging (3rd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
Wellness within chronic illness means to me that even though you’re hurting, or something is amiss, you still have a life to lead. It’s like John and Jack in the nursing home; they know and understand the card that they have been dealt yet they choose to make the best of their situation every day. They try to keep things fun and light and enjoy the time that they still have left by socializing every day, having fun every day, trying to make other people laugh. They were still trying to be the best person that they could be regardless of the current situation that they were in (Colmers, 2010).
Consequences of pain in older adults can be severe. It can limit mobility; you may not want to be doing any kind of activities, pain makes you not want to get out of bed and do anything. Growing up I remember my mom getting together with her friends and going out for coffee every day; they would all meet up in one of the little coffee shops in town. As she got older though, the trips became less frequent and at one point they just stopped. She just hurt so bad it wasn’t worth it to her to try and navigate the stairs, get into the car and the walk to the coffee shop anymore. It would only be for special occasions to go to all that trouble. When the trips with her friends for coffee got to be too much you could see a definite change in her as she was becoming depressed (Molton & Terrill, 2014).
Some of the age-related changes that affect cognitive functioning are- declines in attention span, memory, and language. Many in the geriatric population tend to have a shorter attention span than those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Some memories start to fade, depending on what and where it’s located in your brain and what kind of diseases, if any, that can affect those memories. Language is another function that deteriorates over time as we get older; especially those with Dementia. Those patients can be talking, and it makes zero sense and that’s when it is referred to as word salad. It is essentially just a tossing around of words. It is almost like that of a younger child and even as it progresses it can be reminiscent of an infant where there’s no attention span, cannot make new memories to recall and cannot speak.
I found it interesting that as we age and get much older we can remember how to play an instrument that we learned when we were younger, or how to ride a bike; these memories are noted as procedural. However, we cannot remember to take our medications after breakfast or after dinner; this is noted as a prospective memory (Murman, 2015).
Colmers, E. (2010, 2010). The Elders Project [Video file]. Retrieved from http://ohio.kanopystreaming.com/video/elder-projec…
Molton, I. R., & Terrill, A. L. (2014, February-March). Overview of Persistent Pain in Older Adults. American Psychological Association, 69, No. 2, 197-207. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035794
Murman, D. L. (2015, August). The Impact of Age on Cognition. Seminars in Hearing, 36, No. 3, 111-121. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1555115