Aging Positively

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Aging Positively

Abstract

A functional assessment of the elderly involves a multi-dimensional diagnostic process designed to evaluate an elderly individual in terms of functional capabilities, disabilities, medical and psychological characteristics. These assessment tools provide objective data to detect potential impairments among our aging populations. With these tools we are able to evaluate how elderly individuals are aging, what assistance is need, how to make sure their environment are safe and their insight on what aging positively or successfully means.

M.B. is a sixty five year old Christian woman who is five feet and two inches tall and weighs one hundred and seventy pounds. M.B. was born in Aguilla, PR on July 13, 1947 and was the sixth child out of ten children. When M.B. was nine months old her father died. M.B. does not know why her biological father passed away. When she was two years old her mother remarried and had four more children with her new husband. M.B. and her family were not allowed to talk about her father due to respecting their step-father. M.B. also never met her paternal grandparents or family members because the step-father did not allow them to have contact. Her step-father was a landscaper and her mother was a housewife until 1986 when she died of a rupture peptic ulcer in her stomach. M.B. married at the age of fifteen and bore six children with her husband. M.B. has five daughters and one son. Two of M.B. daughters are deaf-mute; one of them still resides with her. The other married a man that is deaf-mute and they bore two daughters, neither of their girls was born with any visual or hearing impairments. In 1973 M.B., her children and her husband left Puerto Rico and moved to Bethlehem, PA so that he can find better employment to support their family. Her husband worked at Bethlehem steel’s while she was a housewife. M.B. became a widow ten years ago; he died after his second stroke and had a history of hypertension and diabetes mellitus type 2. He was a smoker and enjoyed having a case of beer daily. M.B. states that while she was married she does not recall any enjoyment in her marriage. Her husband was very controlling, mentally and physically abusive. He did not allow her to obtain any form of education, M.B. only made it to six grade. He also did not allow her to work even after he was unable, due to his first stroke. M.B. also states that her love of GOD and her children is what kept her hopeful that life will get better. M.B. stated that life at first after her husband passing was difficult financially. She had to learn how to pay bills and become responsible in all aspect of finances. She was able to learn quickly due to her children who are grown, independent and supportive of her needs. M.B. lives on a fixed income that is provided by her husband social security benefits. Her daughter that resides with her helps her financially; with her social security benefits that she receives because she has a disability. M.B. has Pennsylvania state government health insurance that covers all of her medical and prescription needs. M.B. describes a typical day for the student nurse from the moment she wakes up to right before she falls asleep. M.B. gets up about 7:30 every morning. M.B. gets out of bed slowly to decrease the occurrence of postural hypotension. Postural hypotension is a decline in blood pressure when the older person changes position very quickly. It can occur when you go from lying down position to either sitting or standing position quickly. Postural hypotension can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded and may even faint. M.B. describes her symptoms as only feeling dizzy for less than three minutes if she changes position quickly, usually no treatment is required. Postural hypotension can be occurred due to side effects of antihypertensive agents, NSAIDs and other medications that affect blood pressure (Gulanick & Myers, 2007)....
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