Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
School of Nursing
NURS 3313 – Care of the Healthy Aging Adult
Normal Signs of Aging
Mrs. L is a 64 year old female Caucasian who lives in West Texas. Her hair is naturally gray, but she dyes it, and appears thin and evenly distributed on her head. There are no signs of baldness but her hair is thinning. Tabloski (2006) states “the hair of a older person looks gray or white due to a decrease in the number of functioning melanocytes and the replacement of pigmented strands of hair with non-pigmented ones” (p. 335). Mrs. L’s skin is thin and pale in color. No other parts of her body were visible. Mrs. L is wearing trifocal glasses. She states that she started wearing them when she was 45 years old. According to Tabloski (2006), “Visual acuity tends to diminish gradually after 50 years of age and then more rapidly after the age of 70” (p. 387). She self admitted to being overweight. She appears alert, oriented, and admits that she has become more patient and tolerant. She states that she has back problems. Appearance of Dress
Mrs. L is appropriately dressed for the season and for the interview. Her outfit matches and appears clean and neat. Her hygiene and hair are appropriate. The client is capable of dressing her self. Hygienic Practice
The client showers at night and seems to have recently bathed. Mrs. L’s morning starts at 0530. She has her coffee, breakfast, and then prepares for work. She has clean clothes, teeth, and fingernails. Her hair is neatly combed and styled. Nothing in her appearance indicates that she has any problems performing her hygienic route regularly. Demeanor
Mrs. L seemed happy and eager to answer our questions. She took a seat where she was facing everyone in class. She had no problems sitting during the whole interview. Mrs. L said that she has noticed behavior changes within herself. She has learned to wake up earlier and has become a happier person. Gait Assessment
Mrs. L did not use any adaptive equipment when walking and had a smooth and balanced gait. While sitting during the interview, she showed no signs of discomfort. Mrs. L appeared to have a smooth gait and balance, so I would give her a score of 28 using the Tinetti Assessment Tool (Tinetti, 1986). According to this tool, a score greater than 24 indicates no risk for falling, a score between 19 and 24 indicates a risk for falling, and a score less than 19 indicates a high risk for falling.
Daily Routine Reported by Client
Mrs. L stated that she is a terrible sleeper. She has a routine for sleeping, she reads to prepare for sleep. She usually wakes during the night. She wakes up early in the mornings, around 0530. She appeared rested and energized during the interview. Performance of Daily Activities
Mrs. L is able to perform all her daily activities on her own without assistance. In order to assess Mrs. L’s ability to perform ADLs, the Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living, (Katz, 1970) was used. This tool detects problems in the performance of ADLs including bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, and feeding. It is based on a 6 point scale with 6 meaning the client is independent and 0 meaning the client is very dependent. I gave Mrs. L a score of 6 because she showed and stated that she was very independent. Nutritional Assessment
Mrs. L stated that she cooks for herself and her mother. She said that she eats a healthy diet, but that her problem is that she just eats too much. She eats mostly vegetables. She also stated that she gained 50 lbs during graduate school. Cognitive Assessment
Mrs. L’s responses to the questions in the interview indicate that she has normal cognitive functioning. She was able to express her thoughts logically and was able to recall stories from her past. Her ability to perform ADLs...