Learning Center Articles

Special Concerns of Elderly people

Special Concerns of Elderly people

  • Retirement
  • Social implications
  • Economic implications
  • Long-term care
    • Potential need for services which may be predicted by a number of factors
  • Abuse
    • Current estimates are that 1 in 10 older adults in the US have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone who they depend on for protection or care
    • The abuser is often someone they know, such as a relative who lives with them, or it may be an assigned caregiver

Legal and ethical issues that affect the mental health of aging clients

  • Among the most important of many legal and ethical issues for practicing nurses to be familiar with are the following
    • Use of restraints
    • Decision making about health care
    • Elder abuse
    • End-of-life care

Use of Restraints

  • Can be both physical and chemical
    • Physical restraints
      • Manual methods, material, or equipment that inhibits free movement such as tightening a bedsheet to limit movement, raising side rails, applying wrist or waist restraints, or positioning a wheelchair to restrict movement
      • Can pose a risk of death through strangulation, or asphyxiation and lead to muscle loss, incontinence, pressure sores, agitation, and bone weakness when used for prolonged weakness, fall risk, anxiety, feeling of humiliation, and emotional withdrawal
      • They should be used for emergency purposes only when there is a threat to the safety of the resident or others, never as a means of controlling behavior or as punishment. It should be used only as a last resort.
    • Chemical restraints
      • Drugs given for the specific purpose of inhibiting a certain behavior or movement and that are not part of the normal treatment plan
      • Dangers found that the dangers included risk for diabetes and cerebrovascular events as well as doubled risk for mortality.