The nurse assessing the older population needs to have a basic understanding of which of the following?
a. The economic status of the area b. The difference between normal and abnormal for the older age group c. The signs of sexual dysfunction d. The signs of cardiac disease
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All of the above! Let's justify these choices one at a time. Economic status is an important indicator of overall wellness in any population in the US. Economic status drives nutritional status and also drives access to health care, including preventive care. So knowing the financial status of the group you are working with can help understand their needs and concerns.
Understanding what is and is not normal for any population is the basis of health assessment. How can one possibly know is a person is healthy without having a baseline to compare to?
Sexual dysfunction is very common among the elderly. We hear a lot about erectile dysfunction through advertising, but very little is said about the fact that it can be an indicator of serious underlying health issues such as diabetes or arteriosclerosis. Also, sexuality is an important component of mental health.
Heart disease is the number one killer in the US. All nurses need to be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of this condition, and the elderly are of course at high risk because poor lifestyle choices add up over time.
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