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The comprehensive health assessment of the geriatric patient requires knowledge of normal aging changes, the effects of chronic diseases, genetic makeup, and lifestyle. It is multidimensional and incorporates the physical exam and assessment of mental status, functional status, social and economic status, pain and exam of the environment for safety concerns (Jarvis, 2016). Some of the special considerations the nurse must keep in mind is the presence of “geriatric syndromes” such as urinary incontinence fragile skin, confusion, eating problems or feeding problems, falls and sleep disorders. The goal of the functional assessment of the geriatric patient is to identify the geriatric patient’s strengths and limitations and to be able to come up with interventions to promote independence and prevent functional decline.


Jarvis, C. (2016). Physical Examination and Health Assessment