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Flashcards in The Older Patient Deck (8)
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1

What kind of temperature responses are "normal" in the elderly?

Hypothermic--also not that it is v. unusual to see an elderly individual with a v. high fever (this is a significant red flag)

2

What are some of the normal changes in vital signs seen in the elderly esp. related to the cardiovascular system?

- Systolic HTN (150 mm/Hg is OK)
- Widened pulse pressure
- Orthostatic HTN

*****Note that there is a stiffening of the aorta & large arteries that underlies these changes

3

What is the most common dysrhythmia seen in the elderly?

A-fib

****Don't immediately try to convert this unless it is acute and symptomatic.

4

What is presbycusis?

Age-related hearing loss

5

What do you need to remember about the mouth & teeth of an elderly patient?

Decreased salivary production that leads to:
- Dysphagia
- Increased likelihood of aspiration
- Decreased taste & olfaction

6

What are elderly patients at risk for that is esp. important post-op?

Increased risk of atelectasis & pneumonia

7

You are able to hear a bruit in a patient's jugular arteries with auscultation. What does this mean?

At least 70% occlusion of the vessel--warrants work-up

8

What are some of the major psychosocial issues that you need to ask about with elderly patients?

1) How are they paying for meds
2) Can they pay heating & cooling bills
3) Transportation
4) Advance directives