Sample Assignment - Complete evaluation of an elderly client
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Complete medical evaluation of an elderly client
Present paper describes, with the help of a case study, about the evaluation of
an elderly client. It involves the description about his chronic and acute illness
along with age associated illness. In this paper the current medication of the elderly
client has been reviewed and his mental health status has been analyzed. Briefly,
this paper presents a complete medical evaluation of an elderly client with specific
focus on age associated diseases.
Brief history of client
The elderly client in this case is a 75 year old woman, Mrs. Julie. She was suffering
from pneumonia for which she was admitted to hospital. After few days of medication
and health care she was discharged. When she was admitted to hospital, during health
evaluation, she was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. She is a rheumatoid arthritis
(RA) patient since last 10 years and suffering from chronic heart failure since
last five years. At present she has cateract in one of her eyes for which she will
undergo an operation after four months.
Mrs. Julie is a widow. She lost her husband six months back. She has two sons who
stay abroad. At present she stays alone in her apartment which is on the 2 nd
floor of a three four storied apartment. Due to rheumatoid arthritis, her mobility
is restricted. She is unable to get involve in social activities .
Acute and chronic medical issues
The present case is an example of a typical age related issues which are very common
these days. Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are the two common medical
illnesses affecting almost 66% of older people (Doha, 2008). However, these illnesses
can be managed and quality of life can be improved if appropriate measures and interventions
are applied. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful autoimmune disease which is most
common in older people (Kurebayashi et al, 2013). Besides arthritis, she is also
having tyepe 2 diabetes. Generally, type 2 diabetes can be effectively managed with
appropriate diet plan and adequate physical exercise. However, in present case both
are difficult to apply. Since, Mrs. Julie lives alone; there is no one to get her
appropriate food for her. Her diet should include adequate food and vegetables and
she should avoid energy rich foods. However, at older age people are reluctant to
avoid energy rich foods. Moreover, her arthritis is a major hindrance in her physical
exercise. Arthritis patients experience severe joint pain which restrict their motility
( VanItallie, 2010). In present case, Mrs Julie lives on the 2nd floor
which is again one of the reasons for her reduced physical activity. Because of
joint pains she stays in her room and comes out only when there is an urgent need.
This restricts her mobility and reduces her physical exercise. In addition, carrying
out indoor physical exercise is also painful for her.
Mrs Julie is 170 cm tall having 110 kg body weight. Her blood sugar level (BGL)
ranges between 18.5 to 15.6 mmol/L and blood pressure is 140/80. Current medications
of Mrs Smith are: Frusemide, Digoxin, Licinopril, Atenolol, Aspirin, Amiodarone,
Review of current medication
The aim of the current medication o Mrs Julie is to restore normal function of cardio
vascular system. At present Mrs Julie is at higher risk of various cardio vascular
diseases. Literature suggests that both RA and type 2 diabetes are associated with
cardio vascular diseases ( Gallagher, LeRoith and Karnieli, 2008). . As mentioned
above, RA is an autoimmune disease and causes inflammation specifically in joints.
Inflammation in pericardium may also occur in certain cases. Inflammation in pericardium
may cause heart attack. Therefore, the first priority of Mrs. Julie’s health care
should be to minimise the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Therefore,
Mrs Julie is being administered frusemide, digoxin, licinopril, atenolol and amiodarone.
All the drugs described above are used for preventing heart diseases. However, their
mode of action is different. Frusemide helps to reduce hypertension and oedema.
Accumulation of fluid is known as oedema. Accumulation of fluid beneath pericardium
may cause chest pain and difficulty in breathing. However, care should be taken
while using frusemide because it interacts with aspirin and other salicylates. For
controlling atrial fibrillation, digoxin is being used. It will help to prevent
heart attack. Lisinopril and Atenolol are known to be effective for controlling
blood pressure. Lisinopril is a class of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor
while Atenolol is a beta blocker ( Wann et al., 2011).
For controlling her blood sugar level she is taking insulin. However, managing rheumatoid
arthritis with medication is difficult as there is no cure for this disease. Therefore,
the main goal of her arthritis management is to minimise inflammation and pain,
and increasing joint function and preventing joint destruction. In severe cases,
aggressive management may increase mobility by improving joint function and minimizing
mobility. Generally, the treatment for RA is customized according to various factors
which include type of joints, disease severity, age, health condition and occupation.
Basically, there are two types of medications for the treatment of RA; fast acting
fist line and slow acting second line. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
and aspirin are drugs of first line treatment. They are used to reduce inflammation,
swelling and relieving pain. In present case, patient is being administered Aspirin
and Ibuprofen. As mentioned earlier, frusemide interacts with aspirin; therefore,
her current medication needs to be revised. Aspirin has both, analgesic and anti-inflammatory
effect. Ibuprofen also helps in reducing inflammation and helps to manage arthritis.
Mrs Julie’s daily life activity is very less because of arthritis. As she lives
on the 2 nd floor, she rarely comes of her house. Moreover she stays
alone. Therefore there is no one to accompany of force her to go for walk and assist
in her physical exercise. Further her blood glucose is very high, therefore she
cannot travel long distances. She does not have any one to assist her in taking
insulin injection. However, she performs her daily activities herself. She lives
a much disciplined life. She gets up in the morning, takes bath and performs her
household works. Her sons send her money every month which is the only source of
her income. She does not have job or any business. She prefers cooking herself.
She maintains records of her expenses and takes her medicines timely. Therefore,
she performs all her instrumental activities of daily life (IALD). However, she
due to joint pain she does not participates in social activities and most of the
times she stays alone at home.
Mental health status and cognitive impairment
There is no cognitive impairment in Mrs Julie. However, she is not mentally fit.
Due to her loneliness, and her illness she is depressed and distressed. It is obvious,
as she is suffering from various physical illnesses and it is well established the
physical illness is closely associated with mental illness. She does not seem to
be very happy with her life. The main reason of her mental illness is her loneliness.
Depression at old age is quite common. At old age people should engage themselves
in various activities to keep themselves busy. In present case Mrs Julie due to
arthritis cannot mix with other people and spends most of her alone. It is not good
for her safety because her blood glucose level is very high and she has hypertension.
She is at high risk of cardiovascular diseases therefore; she may require urgent
medical assistance any time. However, there is no one to look after her.
The first and foremost recommendation for Mrs Julie is to transfer her to an old
age home where people can take care of her. Though she is able to carry out her
daily living activities independently, however, she might require medical help suddenly.
Therefore, keeping in mind her current medical records, she needs to be transferred
to old age home urgently. Besides this, she needs to include certain activities
in order to manage her obesity and diabetes. First of all she needs to eat adequate
fresh fruits and vegetables. It has been shown that fruits and vegetables help to
reduce weight. Since Mrs Julie is already suffering from diabetes and had chronic
heart failure, therefore for her the first priority should be to reduce her weight.
For this she needs to avoid energy rich food and perform adequate physical exercise.
She should seek help from community nurse for assisting her in performing physical
exercise. She requires monitoring her blood glucose level regularly. Also she needs
to stay physically active in order to avoid stiffness of joints. Also she should
meet her neighbours and participate in social activities in order to avoid loneliness.
Loneliness is the main reason of her depression. Therefore, psychosocial care should
also be included in her care plan.
In summary, above case describes various age related issues; both physical and mental
faced by older people. With the increasing age both male and female increases, various
health issues arise and need to be managed appropriately. Such health issues are
further augmented with several personal and professional issues. In present case,
the loneliness of Mrs Julie affected badly hear physical health. Therefore, care
plan for older people should be designed after a thorough analysis of physical,
mental and social status.
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