cRunning head: ELDER INTERVIEW Elder Interview Jorge Fernandez Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing NURS 3313 – Care of the Healthy Aging Adult Elder Interview General Appearance Normal Signs of Aging Mrs. L is a 64 year old female Caucasian who lives in West Texas. Her hair is naturally gray, but she dyes it, and appears thin and evenly distributed on her head. There are no signs of baldness but her hair is thinning.
Tabloski (2006) states “the hair of a older person looks gray or white due to a decrease in the number of functioning melanocytes and the replacement of pigmented strands of hair with non-pigmented ones” (p. 335). Mrs. L’s skin is thin and pale in color. No other parts of her body were visible. Mrs. L is wearing trifocal glasses. She states that she started wearing them when she was 45 years old. According to Tabloski (2006), “Visual acuity tends to diminish gradually after 50 years of age and then more rapidly after the age of 70” (p. 387). She self admitted to being overweight.
She appears alert, oriented, and admits that she has become more patient and tolerant. She states that she has back problems. Appearance of Dress Mrs. L is appropriately dressed for the season and for the interview. Her outfit matches and appears clean and neat. Her hygiene and hair are appropriate. The client is capable of dressing her self. Hygienic Practice The client showers at night and seems to have recently bathed. Mrs. L’s morning starts at 0530. She has her coffee, breakfast, and then prepares for work. She has clean clothes, teeth, and fingernails. Her hair is neatly combed and styled.
Nothing in her appearance indicates that she has any problems performing her hygienic route regularly. Demeanor Mrs. L seemed happy and eager to answer our questions. She took a seat where she was facing everyone in class. She had no problems sitting during the whole interview. Mrs. L said that she has noticed behavior changes within herself. She has learned to wake up earlier and has become a happier person. Gait Assessment Mrs. L did not use any adaptive equipment when walking and had a smooth and balanced gait. While sitting during the interview, she showed no signs of discomfort. Mrs.
L appeared to have a smooth gait and balance, so I would give her a score of 28 using the Tinetti Assessment Tool (Tinetti, 1986). According to this tool, a score greater than 24 indicates no risk for falling, a score between 19 and 24 indicates a risk for falling, and a score less than 19 indicates a high risk for falling. Daily Routine Reported by Client Sleep Pattern Mrs. L stated that she is a terrible sleeper. She has a routine for sleeping, she reads to prepare for sleep. She usually wakes during the night. She wakes up early in the mornings, around 0530. She appeared rested and energized during the interview.
Performance of Daily Activities Mrs. L is able to perform all her daily activities on her own without assistance. In order to assess Mrs. L’s ability to perform ADLs, the Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living, (Katz, 1970) was used. This tool detects problems in the performance of ADLs including bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, and feeding. It is based on a 6 point scale with 6 meaning the client is independent and 0 meaning the client is very dependent. I gave Mrs. L a score of 6 because she showed and stated that she was very independent. Nutritional Assessment
Mrs. L stated that she cooks for herself and her mother. She said that she eats a healthy diet, but that her problem is that she just eats too much. She eats mostly vegetables. She also stated that she gained 50 lbs during graduate school. Cognitive Assessment Mrs. L’s responses to the questions in the interview indicate that she has normal cognitive functioning. She was able to express her thoughts logically and was able to recall stories from her past. Her ability to perform ADLs without assistance and has a stable job indicates that she has no diminishment in her cognitive functioning at this time.
Social Assessment Mrs. L was married for 20 years. She has 2 daughters; one is going to school and the other lives in Texas. Her mother has been living with her for 3 ? years. She enjoys movies, having coffee with her friends once a week, and her two grandchildren. She is active in her church, and used to do prison ministry. She works in Gerontology at the Health Sciences Center and has been a Tech employee for 25 years. Current Medications Mrs. L stated that she takes Baby Aspirin daily, two Vitoran pills for blood pressure, pills for high cholesterol, fish oil, and extra Vitamin B.
She did not mention any adverse effects the medications had on her. Health Promotional Activities Use of Exercise Mrs. L stated that she likes to take walks at least 3 to 4 times a week. Her back problems affect her ability to do a wide range of exercises. Use of Relaxation Techniques Mrs. L stated that she enjoys coffee or sharing with friends. She does not do many of the things she used to do since her mother moved in with her. She likes to cross stitch and listen to music. She said that doing all these things helped her to relax. Current Immunizations Mrs.
L stated that she has had her current pneumonia and shingles immunizations. She has also had her flu shot for the year. For the prevention of pneumonia and influenza, it is recommended that older persons receive an influenza vaccination yearly and a pneumococcal immunization every 10 years (Tabloski, 2006, p. 508). Last Physical Exam Mrs. L stated that her last physical exam took place in April. She had a routine checkup. She has a yearly mammogram but does no Self Breast Examinations, because she never took the time to learn. Performs Self Breast Exam? Knows how to Perform? Mrs.
L stated that she does not know how to perform a self breast exam. Last Mammography Performed She has them done yearly, she did not specify exactly when. Home Safety Precautions Used Mrs. L stated that she is clumsy. She has done away with her throw rugs and would like a walk in bathroom. She keeps her doors locked. Health Care Coverage Mrs. L stated that her health care is covered with insurance through her employer. Her insurance covers the majority of her health care costs including medical, dental, and prescriptions. Adequate Income for Bills, Medication Purchase, Food Purchase Mrs.
L stated that she has adequate income for her food, medications, and bills. She has to work to provide for herself and her mother. Wisdom Shared During Interview Process Mrs. L stated that motherhood was an exciting part of life. She has 2 daughters, the first one born when she was 25 years old. She had a stressful job as a school teacher. She received her Master’s degree in Gerontology when she was 60 years old. Clients Perception of the Key to Successful Aging Mrs. L stated that “being accepting that aging is a part of life will help the transition”. Some elderly person have fears of torture of medical care, she does not.
Her faith in God has helped her accept aging. Reflection Strengths Client is mobile and independent Client has adequate resources for health care Client has a strong support system Client is enthusiastic about life Client knows how to relax Mrs. L is able to attain physiological necessities. She also has enough money and a steady job so that she can maintain her health. Her family and friends provide her love and a sense of belonging. She appears very excited and positive about life. Areas of Concern Client has back problems and obesity Client does not know how to do SBE
Health and physical comfort are the top priority in Maslow’s hierarchy (Alfaro-LeFevre, 2006). She does not do SBE, which could identify problems sooner. Her back has not completely healed and her obesity could have a negative affect on her back as well as her health. Erikson’s Developmental Stage Mrs. L seems happy about her life and does not regret her past. She does not seem desperate or to be in any conflict. Personal Enhancement I enjoyed the interview with Mrs. L. It was the first time I ever interviewed a complete stranger. I look forward to the rest of the semester.