The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Keep on Keeping On: Maintaining the Functional Status of Older Patients

Debra Lierl, M.Ed., RRT Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Cincinnati, Ohio

The foundation of effective geriatric care lies in the patient's ability to function at their optimum capability. Studies have demonstrated that appropriate assessments of functional measurement (ability to perform self-care, self-maintenance and physical activities) are predictive of future disability. Assessing the Geriatric patient must be done carefully in order to determine the older person's ability to meet any health and illness-related needs. Specifically, the purpose of older adult assessment is to identify their strengths and limitations so that effective and appropriate interventions can be delivered to support, promote, and/or restore optimum functioning and to prevent disability and dependence.
Tools use to assess the functional measurement include the; Katz Index of ADL, Barthel Index, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale, Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ), MiniMental State Examination, Short Blessed Test, Beck Depression Inventory (short form), Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale (short form), Family Apgar, and OARS Social Resource Scale.
Enhancing the patient's ability to communicate and maximizing their functional ability will help to minimize the effects of acute and chronic illness. This will lead to the ultimate goal of allowing the elder patient to maintain a life of dignity and hopefully comfort until they die.

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