Declines in Functioning Among the Elderly

In late adulthood, human beings may begin to face various cases of declines in functioning as opposed to any stage of their lives. Declines in functioning are episodic to the extent that they are related to the ensuing medical conditions in late adulthood. Functional declines that mainly occur in late adulthood include vision loss, frequent falls, lumbago, urinary incontinence, insomnia, and bilateral hearing impairment (Vaish et al., 2020). Most importantly, the severities of these declines are determined by a geriatrician who evaluates the patients based on their medical history to ascertain the underlying medical conditions.

Prevention of declines in functioning is possible though it takes some work and commitment from the patient. As a nurse, I can devise an individualized, multifaceted exercise program that proves safe such as taking the patients for a short walk or slow jogging to reverse the functional decline associated with acute hospitalization (Vaish et al., 2020). I can also utilize environmental enhancements for age-friendly care such as large clocks and calendars for those with poor vision, handrails, and devise elevated toilet seats (Vaish et al., 2020). In essence, the measures should consider the physical or cognitive decline of a patient and should not be applied arbitrarily.

Moreover, there exists a healthy way of handling changes that result from the declines in functioning. From an emotional perspective, the best way to deal with the changes from functional declines is to seek assistance from both geriatric professionals as well as cognitive-behavioral therapists (Vaish et al., 2020). These experts are important because they help old adults to manage their emotions in their transitions of aging. The caregivers are also guided through the best practices for caring for elderly patients who are experiencing functional declines. Undeniably, behavioral therapy from qualified professionals is the best strategy for handling the emotional characteristic of functional decline changes.


Vaish, K., Patra, S., & Chhabra, P. (2020). Functional disability among elderly: A community-based cross-sectional study. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 9(1), 253-258. Web.

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