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Physical assessment of older patients 

Physical assessment of older patients
Chapter:
Physical assessment of older patients
Author(s):

Duncan Forsyth

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0011
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date: 24 November 2017

Mental health problems may co-exist with or be the presenting feature of other medical illness in older age. All clinicians also need to consider the potential psychological impact of ill-health and its treatments on patients and their carers. This chapter gives a geriatrician’s guide to comprehensive geriatric assessment, identifying physiological changes that occur with ageing and the potential mental health presentations of common medical conditions. The ‘geriatric giants’ of falls, immobility, incontinence, delirium and drug toxicity are put in the context of maintaining higher-order cortical functioning to enable the individual to remain upright, mobile, continent and clear in their thinking. These are considered with admissions avoidance or safe discharge planning in mind.

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