Functional Assessment : An Essential Examination Of Every Older Adult

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Functional assessment is an essential examination of every older adult, whether it is one who is well or has illness in order to determine the extent to which a patient can deal with consistent demands of life (Ball, 2015). The functional assessment is comprehensive and multidimensional (Jarvis, 2012). More than the physical exam, the functional assessment incorporates evaluations of mental status, functional status, social and economic status, pain and examination of the physical environment for safety concerns (Jarvis, 2012). The scenario provided several pieces of data that is useful in determining a course of action, but a complete functional assessment would include a comprehensive history, physical exam as well as previously noted…show more content…
The wife is responsible for “grocery shopping, housekeeping, cooking and laundry chores”. Other mobility related IADLs are being performed by persons outside the family (his yard is being mowed by a neighbor). In regard to ADL function, due to mobility limitations Mr. Emerson depends upon others to modify his environment in order to perform tasks (his wife provides a chair to enable bathing). Although he remains independent in non-mobile activities, there has been a general decline in activities that require the use of his knee. What other questions should be included in a functional assessment? Multiple domains should be evaluated when performing a complete functional assessment on a geriatric patient. In addition to ADL and IADL the complete functional assessment would address psychological issues, social issues, a comprehensive history, and a complete physical examination (Ball, 2015). Due to Mr. Emerson’s age, common geriatric problems should be addressed during the functional assessment. Memory, cognition and mood changes (psychological domain); identification and abilities of caretakers and probable caretakers and resources available (social domain); medications and fall history (historical domain); orthostatic hypotension, balance ordination, and dyspnea on exertion (physical domain) are all areas to be explored (Ball, 2015). Arthritis is strongly associated with major depression (attributable risk of 18.1%), probably
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