Needs of Older Adults

How do the primary care needs of older adults differ from the general population of adults?

Firstly, older people are more vulnerable to contracting diseases and getting injuries than younger adults (Christensen, Doblhammer, Rau, & Vaupel, 2010). Therefore, since older adults are prone to chronic diseases they need a more complex care plan than younger adults (Anderson et al., 2012). Secondly, older people are prone to mental illness such as dementia which limits a person’s self-care abilities (De Luca d’Alessandro & Giraldi, 2011). Therefore, older people need more attention and care by health caregivers, unlike younger adults who can easily take a physician’s instructions and manage their health with no difficulties. Lastly, older people are more concerned about their quality of life and lowering their dependence on their families rather than being worried about their mortality. On the other hand, younger adults since they have the potential to live longer are solely focused on mortality. Thus, there is a great difference between older adults and young adults’ health needs.

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Critical indicators used to develop the differential diagnosis in the specific care plan to be developed for the patient.

Conducting a history and physical exam is crucial to the development of an efficient and specific health care plan for a patient. There several indicators that help a physician conduct a history and physical exam efficiently. They include information on the current complaint, past medical history, mental health, medication history, family history, and others (Lloyd & Craig, 2007). These indicators aim at gathering the patient’s perspective, biomedical and background information (Kaufman, 2008). This information allows the physician to develop a specific and effective care plan for a patient.

In conclusion, there is the need to realize the differences between older adult health care needs and young adult as they are different. Moreover, medical practitioners need to realize the importance of conducting a history and physical exam before developing a specific health care plan.



Anderson, L. A., Goodman, R. A., Holtzman, D., Posner, S. F., & Northridge, M. E. (2012). Aging in the United States: Opportunities and challenges for public health. Am J Public Health, 393-395. doi:

Christensen, P. K., Doblhammer, G., Rau, R., & Vaupel, J. W. (2010). Ageing populations: The challenges ahead. Lancet, 1196-1208. doi:

De Luca d’Alessandro, S. B., & Giraldi, G. (2011). Aging populations: The health and quality of life of the elderly. Clin Ter, 162(1):e13-8. Retrieved from

Kaufman, G. (2008). Patient assessment: Effective consultation and history taking. Nursing         Standard, 50-56. doi:10.7748/ns2008.

Lloyd, H., & Craig, S. (2007). A guide to taking a patient’s history. Nursing Standard, 42-48. doi:10.7748/ns2007.