Both the number and proportion of people aged 65 years and older are increasing; although at different rates in different parts of the world (Waite, 2004). Older adults require doing a geriatric assessment to examine their health. The physician has to ensure that they examine the older adults to ascertain whether they are going through any form of pain. This is because older adults complain much about pain. The main aim of this paper is to assess an older adult’s pain, come up with effective pain management techniques and take a look at comprehensive fall assessment.
Information about the Older Adult
O.M. is a seventy-year-old white residing in Florida who is generally quiet but full of life. He resides in an assisted living community (ALC). He used to live with his daughter before moving into the ALC. O.M. has four daughters and a wife who is in a senior care facility. He has been previously discharged from a hospital since he has Alzheimer too, and this has led to erratic driving.
O.M. loves social activities such as going out to meet friends. He likes going for happy hours. O.M. does not drink. He loves listening to music and, specifically; country music. O.M. takes part in golf tournaments, dominoes, likes going for movie nights, and playing card games. O.M. has a daughter who resides close to the assisted living community. She visits O.M. often and at times is accompanied by O.M.’s grandchild, who is three years old. The grandchild plays with the O.M. ball as they take a stroll within the compound.
O.M. resides on the first floor of the apartment so that he can access the ground floor quickly. His daughter requested that since on the same floor, there is a prayer room where O.M. spends quality time communicating with God. The windows are big to let insufficient air and light. The one-bedroomed apartment has an En suite bathroom. It has a fully equipped kitchenette and an elevator. The kitchenette has a microwave so that he can make quick snacks whenever he feels like it. The elevator is essential as O.M. uses it to access the ground floor for his meals and when meeting up with his friends at the ALC. The apartment is equipped with security and alarm systems that are easy to use. The residence allows for O.M. to have his furnishings. The daughter, therefore, took in some of O.M.’s family photos. She brought him his favorite hats, an antique clock, and some cards for him to play with. O.M. has a king-sized bed that has a pillow to ensure his stay is comfortable.
The interview took place at the assisted living community where O.M was having his brunch. I asked O.M if he was going through any kind of pain. He explained to me that the genesis of his pain started ten years ago, as he was going about his farming activities on his five-acre farm. He was supervising his farm when he accidentally tripped, hurting his back and leg. This later escalated to Arthritis since his farm is in a very cold area. The pain has been there for over six years. It affected O. M. in many ways since he could not go to the farm early in the morning. When the temperatures were low, the leg would ache, causing him to writhe in pain. It greatly affected his daily activities since O.M. could only work when the weather was favorable. After his daily trip to the farm, O.M ensured that he took a walk with his dog in his estate. This, he says, helped him to forget his pain and worries. After tripping, he visited a healthcare facility where he received treatment. O.M was given crutches to help him walk. O.M. likes taking warm water early in the morning when he wakes up. Several medications were given to him. He was advised to exercise regularly as a pain management technique. He had a nurse who frequently attended to him. She was responsible for massaging his legs and doing fire therapy. The nurse ensured that O.M. took his pain medication correctly. Fire therapy is a well-known treatment for Arthritis. O.M. was satisfied with the treatment since he was able to move freely without the use of clutches. O.M. believes pain is part of aging. He says that as you age, certain parts of the body become weak.
To manage the pain, O.M. has to always keep his feet warm, be active as well as take some rest. He ensures that he goes for physical therapy. O.M. is grateful to the healthcare professionals for their help in treating his pain.
I was satisfied with the ways O.M. answered the questions. This is so because O.M. was taking measures to treat his pain. O.M. ensured that he exercised. As for the medical practitioners who assisted O.M., they played a significant role in showing him how to manage his pain individually. As a nurse, I will determine pain with those with dementia or cognitive impairment through some common behaviors. Education and training of staff to recognize pain and importantly, to act on their findings are paramount (Schofield & Abdulla, 2018). Expressions such as rapid blinking, frequent frowning, as well as grimacing, are common behaviors. Potential barriers related to self-reporting of pain may occur when older adults lack information on ways to manage their pain. It is very common for older adults to experience pain. As a nurse, I will receive complaints from the patient as well as examine their behavior. I will incorporate pain-relieving procedures into their handling and treatment. This interview has shown me that it is essential to teach older adults how to manage pain on their own through training workshops. This is so because they will not need to rely on an individual when dealing with the pain themselves.
Home Assessment and Improvements
A home assessment was conducted according to the Home Safety Self-Assessment Tool (HSSAT) from the University at Buffalo (2017) when they visited O.M.’s apartment. O.M. should be moved to the room next to the staircase and ramp so that in case of fire; he will use a wheelchair to safety. It was suggested that O.M. gets a light torch to use instead of candles that were in his kitchen drawers. It was also suggested that the tiles needed to be replaced since they were slippery and a wooden floor installed.
Findings and Plan of Deficiencies
It is common for older adults to go through different kinds of pain as they age. This is an important aspect that the healthcare field should look into. The older adult population has grown, and these people need to be trained on how to deal with the pain both through medical and non-medical ways. Physicians need to educate caregivers and older adults on pain-relieving techniques. It is paramount for nurses to undergo specialized training so that they can handle older patients. However, elderly people require learning how to manage pain on their own in case the nurses are not available. It is also important for them to find interesting activities to keep active and engaged.
- Schofield, P., & Abdulla, A. (2018). Age and Ageing, 47(3), 324-327. Web.
- Waite, L. J. (2004). Aging, Health,and Public Policy. Population Council.