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GCU Aging Process and Elder Abuse Discussion

GCU Aging Process and Elder Abuse Discussion


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The aging process is a natural and inevitable phenomenon that involves changes in various aspects of human life. Some of the characteristics of the aging process are: physical changes such as wrinkles and grey hair, a decrease in physical strength and stamina, and an increase in susceptibility to certain illnesses and diseases. Additionally, there are cognitive changes that occur, such as a decline in memory and processing speed. Emotional changes also occur, including a decrease in overall happiness and an increase in feelings of loneliness or isolation (Yon et al., 2019). Despite these changes, it is important to understand that aging is a unique experience for each individual and should be embraced with acceptance and respect.

Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes harm to an older adult. Some of the characteristics of the aging process that may lead to elder abuse are physical and cognitive decline, increased vulnerability, and dependence on others for care. These factors can make older adults more susceptible to mistreatment and exploitation (Yon et al., 2019). For example, imagine an elderly woman who lives with her adult son. Due to her physical and cognitive decline, she relies heavily on him for daily activities such as bathing, eating, and managing medications. However, instead of providing the necessary care and support, the son neglects her needs, leaving her malnourished and unkempt. This intentional failure to act by a trusted caregiver constitutes elder abuse as it causes harm to the vulnerable older adult.

A geriatric health assessment is a multidimensional, multidisciplinary process that evaluates an older person’s functional ability, physical health, cognition and mental health, and socioenvironmental situation in order to develop a coordinated plan to maximize overall health with aging. Some of the considerations a nurse must be mindful of while performing a geriatric health assessment as compared to a middle aged adult are the increased likelihood of chronic health conditions and disabilities in older adults. The nurse must also be aware of the potential for cognitive decline and changes in mental health, such as depression or anxiety (Alakare et al., 2021). Additionally, the nurse should take into account the social and environmental factors that may impact the older person’s health, such as living arrangements, social support, and access to healthcare resources. Overall, conducting a geriatric health assessment requires a comprehensive and holistic approach to ensure the older adult’s well-being.


Alakare, J., Kemp, K., Strandberg, T., Castrén, M., Jakovljevi?, D., Tolonen, J., & Harjola, V. P. (2021). Systematic geriatric assessment for older patients with frailty in the emergency department: a randomised controlled trial. BMC geriatrics, 21(1), 1-11.Systematic geriatric assessment for older patients with frailty in the emergency department: a randomised controlled trial | BMC Geriatrics | Full Text (

Yon, Y., Ramiro-Gonzalez, M., Mikton, C. R., Huber, M., & Sethi, D. (2019). The prevalence of elder abuse in institutional settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European journal of public health, 29(1), 58-67.

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