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The geriatric assessment is a multidimensional and multidisciplinary assessment used to evaluate an older person’s functional ability, physical health, cognition, and socioeconomic status. This assessment differs from a typical medical assessment. This assessment assesses the person’s functional capacity as well as quality of life. Assessment often times incorporates multidisciplinary team like physician, social worker, nutritionist, physical and occupational therapists (Elsawy & Higgin, 2011).

As individual’s age, there are many changes occurring. These changes may incorporate changes in vision, hearing, gait, nutrition, and other problems or illnesses. Diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are also common in geriatrics. It is very important to get an overview of the whole patient. It is necessary to conduct a thoroughly physical and history assessment (Elsawy & Higgin, 2011).

Patients functional ability is assessed. This includes the person’s ability to perform tasks of daily living. This task incorporated dressing, bathing, ambulating, and nutrition. It is important to determine if patient is getting their basic needs meet. Medical problems, family history, and social history are also reviewed. If any problem is suspected there are actions taken to meet those needs. References and supportive resources are also given if needed (Elsawy & Higgin, 2011).

When nurses are performing assessments, special consideration needs to be taken. Special consideration involves nurses paying close attention to visual and hearing problems. Nurses must speak clearly and slow to allow patients understanding of what is being said or asked. Nurses should also keep in mind that elderly patients intend to feel more fatigue. Nurses should allow sufficient time for assessments to be completed (Elsawy & Higgin, 2011).

Geriatric assessments are more thoroughly and require more time. It is important for nurses to gather adequate patient information. Not only to be pay attention to current problem or illness, but we also need to pay attention to patient daily basic needs and possible problems affecting these needs. If problems are noted, it is important to make the necessary referrals to make sure the patient is being cared for as a whole.


Elsawy, B., Higgin, K. 2011. The Geriatric Assessment. Retrieved from


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