The field of gerontechnology is described along with how research endeavors can be aided by gerontechnology. Practical applications that enhance the daily life of older adults and their caregivers are also discussed. Caveats of appropriate use of gerontechnology are considered. The chapter concludes with discussion of family technologists who can support older adults and their primary caregivers.
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This chapter provides a view of various biologic and psychosocial theories of aging and how they contribute to the understanding of human behavior. Maslow’s, Erikson’s, and Peck’s theories are given considerable attention.
This chapter describes the current status of caregiving in the United States. Who are caregivers and what tasks they routinely do are discussed. The diversity of caregiving is also considered. Physical, psychological, social, and financial ramifications of caregiving are described along with benefits reported. The chapter concludes with recommendations on how healthcare professionals can support caregivers.
Significance of changes in biological, psychological, and social aging and their impact on lessened reserve capacity; the importance of understanding slowness, stress, pacing, and accidents in working with older adults; and the role of health promotion, disease prevention, and health maintenance in successful aging conclude the chapter.
The anatomy, physiology, and function of the cardiovascular system along with age-related changes in the system. Selective disorders commonly experienced in the older population along with their description, presenting symptoms, and more prominent diagnostic measures. Treatment most often prescribed along with recommendations how to maintain good cardiovascular health as it relates to the disorders.
Health promotion, exercise, and the need to focus on these to enhance a healthy long life are discussed. Identification of significant areas of health promotion and barriers to achieving good health are presented. Next, disease prevention along with primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary preventive measures are listed. Healthy People 2030, the fifth national health initiative, and its objectives are outlined along with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Exercise, its meaning, and value in modifying age-related changes are briefed. Types of exercise programs; isometric, isotonic, and aerobic and their recommended use by older adults are listed.
A review of the anatomy, physiology, and function of the musculoskeletal system; age-related changes in the musculoskeletal system; specific disorders experienced by older adults along with diagnostic and treatment options; and the role of exercise, pacing, and environmental modalities in maintaining health and recuperation were discussed.
This chapter reviews the anatomy, physiology, and function of skin, hair, and nails and the role skin plays in an individual’s life. Age-related changes in each of these entities along with selected disorders including xerosis; rashes, senile purpura, pruritus, solar elastosis, keratosis, psoriasis, skin tags, herpes zoster, pressure ulcers, and skin cancer are discussed. Lastly, there are recommendations on how to maintain healthy skin and prevent skin cancer.
An overview of nutrition in older age is provided. Definitions of and descriptions of the elements of nutrition; fluids, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fibers well as minerals are presented. Psychological-cultural and physiological aspects of nutrition are described. Dietary Guidelines for Americans along with MyPlate and MyPlate for Older Adults are discussed. Implications of anorexia, under- and overnutrition as well as failure to thrive are reviewed. There is discussion of adequate nutrition in institutional and community settings along with necessary education. Lastly, recommendations for adequate nutrition in older adults are outlined.
The anatomy, physiology, and functions of the endocrine system are reviewed. Age-related changes and specific disorders are grouped together to better understand their impact on the system and health of the older adults. Special attention is given to hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and prediabetes and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Recommended care for diabetics is also outlined.
Brief anatomy and physiology of each sensory systems is described. The effects of aging on each sense and the implications for older adults are detailed. More commonly experienced aging-related diseases that affect sensory function in older adults, along with their respective treatments, are also discussed including cataracts, glaucoma, advanced macular degeneration, tinnitus, and Ménière’s disease.
The anatomy, physiology, and function of the immune system, lymphatic system, and lymph nodes are reviewed. Age-related changes of the immune system along with selected specific disorders that may be found in the older age group are discussed.
HIV/ AIDSin this population along with the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease is defined.
The meaning and description of the experience of death and dying and therapeutic approaches for individuals and significant others are discussed. Loss, grief, and mourning process in older adults are considered including disenfranchised grief, complicated grief, and therapeutic approaches. Hospice and palliative care options available are described. Suicide, rational suicide, and physician-assisted suicide/dying are outlined. Also discussed are advance directives including living wills, medical power of attorney, do-not-resuscitate orders, and ethical wills.
COVID-19and its impact on the dying, grieving, and funeral practices of the older age group are presented.
The anatomy and physiology and function of the male and female reproductive system and how it affects the quality of life in older age is described. Selected disorder of the male and female reproductive systems is discussed. Sexuality, its meaning and expression, as it relates to older adults and those who care for them are also explained.
Anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, including the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, are described. Age-related changes in the nervous system are described. Common nervous system disorders are briefly discussed with Parkinson’s disease covered in greater depth. Sleep, aging-related changes with sleep, sleep disorders, and dangerous consequences of untreated sleep disorders are highlighted. The chapter concludes with brief consideration of how aging impacts memory and learning.
An overview of the anatomy, physiology, and functioning of the respiratory system is provided. Age-related changes in the respiratory system along with selected specific disorders commonly experienced by older adults and measures useful in preventing and living with respiratory dysfunctions are explained.
Several cogent topics as they relate to older adults, such as alcoholism, falls, foot care, pain and abuse, and neglect, were presented. The impact of alcohol as it relates to the psychosocial and physical aspects of the individual along with assessment and treatment modalities was indicated. Risks for falls in the older age group and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors contributing to falls were described. Evaluative information and measures to prevent falls and the structure, function, and age-related changes in the feet were explained. Selected foot disorders including those on the skin, corns, calluses, toenail disorders, arthritic conditions, diabetic issues, and circulatory and inflammatory disorders plus recommendations for foot care were discussed. Pain, its classification as acute and persistent and along with treatment options; definition and types of abuse and neglect along with appropriate interventions were described.
Focus is on the older adult learner and the status of and major issues related to the capacity to learn including intelligence, memory, attention, reaction time, readiness and motivation, learning styles, literacy, and neuroplasticity. Alterations in the sensory system that may influence learning and recommended approaches to teaching in each situation are analyzed. The language spoken along with literacy level and cultural barriers are discussed. Specific teaching approaches are reviewed including one-to-one instruction, group instruction, and electronic learning. Lastly, there is a summary of suggested teaching approaches and available programs plus locations to secure older adult education.
This chapter provides an overview of delirium and dementia, including primary dementias, secondary dementias, and reversible dementias. The distinction between mild and major neurocognitive disorders is described. An in-depth description of Alzheimer’s disease, including etiology, treatment, and general guidelines for care, is included. Other dementias including Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Lewy body disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and vascular dementia are also briefly covered. Secondary dementias (e.g., dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease) and reversible dementias (e.g., normal pressure hydrocephalus) conclude the chapter.
An overview of the gastrointestinal system as it relates to the nutritional status of the older individual is presented. The anatomy and physiology and age-related changes of the system are reviewed. Selected common age-related disorders are discussed along with their incidence, presenting symptoms, diagnostic measures, and interventions. The American Cancer Society’s 2020 screening recommendations for the intestines are then outlined.
This chapter describes aging with respect to people with acquired versus congenital disability. There is an emphasis on people with lifelong developmental disability, including intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. General aging issues for this population are described, and then specific aging issues that are more prevalent and problematic are identified. The need for more vigilant health promotion and education is discussed.
An overview of the anatomy, physiology, and function of the urinary system and age-related changes is provided. Selective disorders common in older adults with description and common symptoms are discussed. Useful diagnostic procedures and treatments frequently prescribed to maintain urinary health in older age were elaborated.
The meaning and use of complementary, alternative, and therapies integrative medicine along with the catagorical components are discussed. The history of these modalities from ancient time to the present are briefed. Discussion of various alternative and complementary therapies including herb and drug supplements, aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, chiropractic, yoga, animal-assisted therapy, healing through music, meditation, mindfulness practice, and prayer is done. Referral to various books, organizations, and web sites are provided.
An overview of the influence, processing, and adverse reaction of drugs in the lives of older adults. Cultural influences impacting drug ingestion along with a consideration of generic drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Adverse drug reactions are discussed and reasons for drug misuse. Lastly, a discussion of the more commonly prescribed drugs for this age group is presented.