Gastrointestinal Health Issues Affecting the Geriatric Population
All organ systems change with age, including the gastrointestinal tract. There are changes within the gastrointestinal tract which can result in multiple disorders or conditions altering the elderly person’s lifestyle. Understanding the changes that occur will assist the nurse in developing a care plan that will educate and assist the elderly client to understand the changes taking place and help them to cope with these changes.
After studying the information provided and upon completion of the module the learner will be able to:
· Discuss the changes that occur in the gastrointestinal tract as aging occurs.
· Describe chronic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.
· Describe the processes responsible for diarrhea and constipation.
· Discuss the importance of hydration and nutrition in the elderly population.
· Define fecal impaction and fecal incontinence.
· Discuss common cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.