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The Aging Process

It Happens To All Of Us

Body System Problems How To Handle It
Cardiovascular heart muscle loses strength

arteries/veins get narrower, with reduced blood flow

less oxygen to body= slower healing

Gentle, appropriate exercise

Pace activities

Elevevate legs/feet frequently

Digestive more difficulty chewing & swallowing

less taste sensation, less appetite

more frequent indigestion and constipation

Encourage more fluids

Allow plenty of time to eat

Establish regular toileting schedule

Endocrine Decreased hormone levels

less ability to handle stress

more likely to become ill, slower to get well

Keep surroundings clean to prevent infection

Reduce stress& avoid changes

Offer encouragement, not criticism

Musculoskeletal muscle atrophy and loss of strength

bones lose density, become more brittle

joints less flexible; loss of height

Avoid falls to prevent fractures

Encourage range of motion exercises

Encourage as much activity as possible

Nervous Decreased brain cells

Less blood circulation to brain

forgetfulness of recent event

Do not rush person & allow time for decisions

Avoid abrupt schedule changes

Encourage thinking, reading, & mental exercises

Respiration lungs lose strength

harder to breathe

 risk of secretions accumulating in the lungs

Encourage exercise

Encourage frequent changes of position

Encourage coughing and deep breathing exercises

Sensory reduced vision, hearing, taste and smell

Reduced sense of touch; less likely to feel pain

voice muscles lose strength

Encourage use of glasses and hearing aids if needed

Speak slowly and clearly & listen carefully

Encourage eating even if food does not taste good to person

Skin skin dries, loses elasticity,tears easily

skin loses fatty layer so person feels cooler

skin bruises easily

 

keep skin clean and dry, & use lotions for moisture

Watch for safety hazards

Prevent pressure sores by changing position frquently

 

Urinary Reduced kidney function

Less bladder control. more incontinence

More frequent urination

Encourage drinking fluids in daytime

Encourage frequent toileting

Keep person clean and dry; do not criticize

Taken from "Nursing Assistants: a Basic Study Guide"; by Beverly Robertson, First Class Books, Inc, 2001