Gerontology and Gerontic Nursing Practice

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NRS 353 Gerontology and Gerontic Nursing Practice

Assignment 2: Assignment Questions

Questions and Answers about Elderly People and Patients
Submitted by: Fujimi Sakai Student No: 11413992

Lecturer’s Name: Christine Haley

Due date: 25 January 2010 Date of submission: 25 January 2010

Introduction Health of older people has some issues which nurses should know. Older people tend to suffer some health problems, however, some people do not know about problems of older people and may treat them wrongly. These are some questions and answers below whose topics may be well-known but misunderstood. Nurses need to know scientific truth about health and health problems of older people and should reject myths of them which may be widely known.

Q 1: Discuss reasons for why the elderly suicide Hughes (2006, p. 549) noted risk factors of suicide for older people: Majority of older people who commit suicide generally has depressive disorder when they are dead. Also, the elderly who have physical illness and complain pain are more likely to suicide. Luggen (2004, p. 636) added spousal loss are clearly relates to elderly suicide. Negative experiences such as loss of spouse or declining physical health are precipitating factors for depression (Hughes, 2006, p. 536). Also, these experiences might be more common for older adults. Thus, depressive disorder is one of common factors which cause the elderly people suicide and depressive events are more likely to occur for the older people because of loss of things they valued.

Q 2: Define the word dementia Davies, Aveyard and Norman (2006, p. 491) define the term of dementia as “a range of brain disorders that have in common loss of brain function that is usually progressive, irreversible and eventually fatal. Collectively, these conditions represent the most common serious mental illnesses affecting older people.” “Dementia can be a symptom of a number of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Korsakoff’s syndrome and Huntington’s chorea” (Eastley & Wilcock, 2000, as cited in Mott & Kingsley, 2004, p. 191).


Q 3: Is the use of restraints a justifiable approach for managing patients with dementia? Discuss Some older people who have dementia tend to wander. Luggen and Hill (2004) described “wandering is one of the most difficult management problems encountered in institutional settings. Each year some residents wander away from a facility and are later found injured or dead.” Thus, it is necessary to protect the elderly people from the injury or death. Restraints have been protections for the older adults and also meant security of the elderly and the staff (Luggen & Hill, 2004, p. 401). Moreover, Davies et al. (2006, p. 516) mentioned there are insufficient human resources in the most care environment so that they cannot follow wandering of each older adult who have dementia and make sure of individual’s safety. However, restraints cause the elderly people to have negative emotions such as anger, fear and humiliation (Strumpf & Evans, 1988, as cited in Luggen & Hill, 2004, p. 402). In addition, physical restraints cause not only negative feelings of the older adults but also physical problems; for example, pressure ulcer formation, hypostatic pneumonia or constipation (Pisani, Partridge, Taylor & Porter, 2009, p. 860). Hence, usage of restraint should be minimised as much as possible both form ethical and physical viewpoints. Restraints could take other risks of harm to the elderly people.

Q 4: Discuss the alternatives to physical restraint in the care of patients with dementia As mentioned above, physical restraints cause health problems. So, it is important to minimise to use physical restraints or take alternative ways to the restraints for older people having dementia. Reasons why patients who have dementia wander are unique to individual and have particular meaning in their context or situation. Thus, care which they need can be differ...
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