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Aging Changes

SystemAge-related changesClinical implicationsStrategies
Skeletal -Cartilage (decr H2O, stiffer, erodes) -Bones mass decreases (peaks 40 yrs old; calcium and bone marrow decreases) -intervertebral discs (flatter, less resilient) -postural changes (incr kyphosis, decreased lordosis) weight bearing is important for cartilage/joint health/mobility; increased risk of falls/fractures -postural exercises -weight bearing exercises (gravity loading) -nutritional, hormonal, medical therapy -education re falls prevention?
Neurological -Atrophy of nerve cells in cerebral cortex/loss of mass -changes in: morphology, synaptic transmission, spinal cord & peripheral nerves; -age-related tremors -affect movement (decr speed/coordination, loss of strength, incr reaction & mvmt time, incr caution -slowing of processing (may affect learning/memory) -homeostatic regulation difficulties -correct medical problems -improve diet, quit smoking -increase physical activity -strategies to improve motor learning & control (incr reaction/mvmt time; avoid long mvmt sequences; explain adequately/demonstrate; repetitive mvmt)
Sensory: Vision -genl decline in acuity -Presbyopia -sensitivity to light/glare -decr adaptation to dark/light -decr color discrim (esp blue/green) -decr pupillary responses -decr corneal reflex -decr oculomotor responses -assess vision -maximize function -allow extra time for visual discrim -work in adequate light -magnifying glasses -large, high contrast print -eye patch (diplopia) -stand in front of indiv -use warm colors -use other sensory cues
Sensory: Hearing -hearing loss (as early as 40s; 23% aged 65-74; 40% aged 75+) -build up of wax in outer ear -bony jt degeneration in middle ear -changes in understanding speech, sound sensitivity, equilibrium in inner ear. -types: conductive, sensorineural, presbycus -Assess hearing: acuity, speech discrim, tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo, pain -assess for hearing aids -minimize auditory distractions -speak slowly/clearly (low over high tone) -nonverbal communication to reinforce -written/demonstrated activities -orient to topics -assistive devices (vibrating /flashing smoke detectors, telephones, doorbells, clocks
Sensory: Vestibular -degeneration of utricle/saccule -loss of hair-cell receptors -decreased vestibular neurons -reduced fnxn of VOR (vestibular ocular reflex) -delayed reaction times/diminished acuity -decreased retinal stability -altered sensory organization (incr dependence on somatosensory input) -disorganized postural reponse (incr postural sway & hip torque, decr ankle torque) -increased falls -falls prevention strategies
Sensory: Somatosensory -decr sensitivity of touch (decline of periph receptors & atrophy of afferent fibers) -proprioceptive losses -loss of joint receptor sensitivity (LE & cervical jts - contrib to loss of balance) -cutaneous pain thresholds increase -assess thresholds to stim/sensory losses -extra time for response -use touch to communicate -augment sensory feedback (eg kitchen utensils w/wide textured grip) -protective compensatory strategies for decr sensation -assistive devices (fall prevention) -biofeedback
Sensory: Taste and Smell -gradual decrease in taste sensitivity -decreased smell sensitivity -assess for odor/taste/temp/touch identification -decreased taste, food enjoyment (leads to poor diet/nutrition) -increased use of taste enhancers (salt, sugar) -decreased home safety (gas leaks, smoke) education?
Cognitive -no uniform decline -perceptual speed impaired by age 39 -numeric abilities peak mid-40s and maintained until 60s -ST memory impaired/LT fine -Learning affected by: incr caution, anxiety, sensory deficits, slower pace; prior learning - -older adults use strategies to counteract memory decline: context-based v. memorization (young adults) -improve health (address med probs, reevaluate drugs used, reduce smoking/alcohol, improve nutrition) -incr physical activity -incr mental activity (puzzles, social activities, etc.) -sensory cues (visual demonstrations, written instr) -reduce stress
Cardiovascular -due to inactivity/disease over aging -degeneration of heart muscle -decr coronary blood flow -cardiac valves/ blood vessels thicken & stiffen -decr pace maker cells (SA Node) -BP rise -decr blood volume -incr blood coagulation -decr neurohumoral -resting BP incr, tho changes at rest are minor -response during exercise: blunted, decr HR accel, reduced exer capacity -decr stroke volume -max HR declines - decr cardiac output -orthostatic hypotension incr -incr fatigue -murmor -ECG changes
Pulmonary -chest wall stiffness -decr strength in respiratory muscles -long of elasticity of lungs -alveoli enlarge/thin/fewer capillaries -decline in lung capacity -air flow (forced expiratory volume) decr -altered gas exchg -decr homestatic/autoimmune reps -response to exercise: at higher intensities, incr ventilatory cost, greater blood acidosis, incr SOB, incr perceived exertion -signs of hypoxia are blunted -cough mechanism impaired -gag reflex decr -prolonged recovery from respiratory illness -cardiopulmonary assessment prior to exercise pgm (submaximal testing...no standardized batteries for older adults) -individualized exercise pgm based on fitness, disease, limitations, goals -aerobic training pgms -incr daily activity level
Integumentary -changes in skin composition: loss of elastin, decr vascularity, decr sebaseous activity, & dry, wrinkled, yellowed, spotted appearance; thinning/graying of hair; nails thicken, become brittle, and grow more slowly -skin becomes less effective as a barrier: grows/heals more slowly; less able to resist infection; decr touch/pain/temp sensitivity and resultant incr risk of injury; decr sweat production/loss of temp regulation
Gastrointestinal -decr salivation/taste/smell & inadequate chewing (tooth loss/dentures)/poor swallowing reflex esophagus: decr motility & control of esophageal sphincter -> acid reflux/heartburn/hiatal hernia -stomach: reduced motility, delayed gastric emptying; decr digestive enzymes ->decr absorption/digestion (indigestion common) -decreased intestinal motility (constipation common)
Renal/Urogenital Kidneys: loss of weight/mass & decr renal blood flow/decr filtration -bladder: muscle weakness/decr capacity/difficulty emptying & incr retention -blood urea rises decreased excretory and reabsorptive capacities -urinary incontinence -incr likelihood of urinary tract infections
Muscular Loss of muscle strength, power, mass, endurance. Changes in muscle fiber composition (loss o fast twitch/Type II,increase in Type I). Collagen becomes denser, irregular, less elastic. -Slower movement -increased fatigue -connective tissue stiffer/denser (inc sprains, strains, tears; loss of ROM, incr. adhesions/ contractures) -decr mobility -unsteady gait -improve health -improve health (address med probs, nutrition, substance abuse) -increase physical activity gradually (be sensitive to pace, warming up) -strength training -flexibility/ROM exercise
Created by: GooseB on 2010-03-05



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