Details about Target Group of the Research
The research was directed towards the seniors in Jacksonville, Florida in the age bracket of sixty-five years old. The proportion of the elderly is approximately eleven percent hence a bit difficult to find and conduct an interview. Only a small number of early life alone, while the rest live together with either nuclear or extended family. Elderly females occupied the most significant percentage of seniors living alone with their percentage being as big as 71 percent (Kang & Demeris, 2018). A good number of males at 65 years old were found to be married. In Jacksonville, it is established that the majority of the elderly are homeowners and only a small number are renters. Almost all homeowners benefit from telephone services, but the renters also register a high name. There seems to be a balance of between renters that dwell in massive development comprising of fifty and above units compared to those renting 1 unit. Jacksonville is always developing, and currently, only a tiny group of the elderly live below the poverty level. Seniors who participated in the interview lived in four-story building around the urban areas. There are numerous care services for the aged in Jacksonville. I limited my research to the urban areas where the aged meeting my set threshold volunteered. I interviewed both elderly males and females to avoid limiting my scope of the study.
Interview Questions and Answers Obtained
The research questions were open-ended to allow more elaboration on a particular topic. Majority of the elder males and females provided almost similar answers to the questions asked and the differences were not that significant. I, therefore, grouped males and females into two broad categories which had similar responses; O.M 1, O.M 2, O.F 1 and O.F 2. Every question was answered to completion to help in deducing accurate data. The questions revolved around pain perception of the elderly, specifically 65-years-old. Treatment of pain among the aged has always been a difficulty due to several factors. The immunity is likely to deteriorate with age. It is still not very clear on how the aged perceive pain and in what frequency. The research was to assist in obtaining facts and insights regarding the subject matter, using Jacksonville Florida as my study area. The first question was to help identify the frequency of pain perception among the elderly aged 65 and above. Both O.M and O.F had a straight answer in the frequency of pain perception. Despite the difference in ethnic groups, both males and females aged 70 years old specifically experienced an aggravated level in the rate of recurrence of pain perception. O.M 1 reported that chronic pain was more prevalent. Both O.M 2 and O.F 2 attributed the pain to general ignorance while O.F 1 pointed out that attitude was a major influencing factor.
The origin of pain and the and the timeframe of pain onset up to current stage had different answers among the groups. O.M 1 and O.F 1 comprised of the elderly of between 65 and to 75 years old. This category of participants ascribed their pain origin to progressive impairment of the body organs due to aging. The pain was less frequent and an average of 4 years and below was provided as the duration of pain perception. The second category of males and females was that of the age bracket of 75 years old and above. Pain here was attributed unhealthy status of individuals. Conditions such as osteoarthritis, post-stroke pain, post-herpetic neuralgia, and diabetic neuropathy were associated with increased levels of anxiety (Deng et al., 2018). The duration that the group had been struggling with depression was more than 1o years. We also had cancer patients who had experienced pain for a more extended period than either member of the group since they started their therapy. The general assumption that pain positively correlates with age advancement could not be fully ascertained with the study. Some of the elderly group (above 65 years of age) reported to have minimal incidences of pain and is comprised of the very active group of individuals.
On the assessment of whether pain interfered with daily activities, most answers obtained were from O.F 1 and O.F 2. The males were not very active compared to females hence the inconsistency made women be the quintessential candidates for the questions. It was affirmed that chronic pain caused the O.F 1 and O.F 2 to gradually reduce in the activities they formally engaged themselves in a while poorly relieved pain caused a reduction in mobility and socialization. In both O.M 2 and O.F 2, the pain would, in the long run, result in social seclusion causing adverse effects such as depression and impairment in the cognitive system. We have a considerable percentage of the elderly reporting onset of pain perception to their physicians or nurses. Elderly care in Jacksonville Florida is improving, and it fosters constant monitoring of health status of the aged in both males and females. The proportion of both men and women that did not report their pain perception was majorly influenced by ethnic grouping and attitude, mostly the O.M 1 and O.F 1. Blacks formed the more significant percentage of the group that did not inform their nurses of their pain condition.
The modes of pain treatment among the elderly in Jacksonville cut across them in all the groups. Pain treatment was a combination of both medications, coping strategies, and physiotherapy. Coping mechanisms mainly entailed quality time spent with friends and family and passive leisure activities such as engaging in reading and television watching. A discovery made was that medication was less preferred as a mode of treatment (Jakobsson, 2003). Nurses tried working together with the elderly by giving them the opportunity to choose the pattern they preferred. A huge percentage of both the males and females seemed to prefer their involvement entirely in pain management. The healthcare facilities kept on improving as we have the O.M 1 and O.F 1 being more satisfied with services compared to O.F 2 and O.F 2. The management of pain among the elderly is not very promising since testing on pain treatment has been linked to a younger generation. There are pieces of evidence to guide physicians or nurses the most efficient means of pain treatment among the elderly, and they are often secluded in programs aimed at managing pain. There was a misdiagnosis among the elderly where the O.M 2 and O.F 2 (above 75 years old) were reluctant in reporting pain perception or interpreting all form of pain as usual.
When questioned about their view regarding pain is associated with aging, the O.M 2 and O.F 2 still were in concurrent. A more significant number had come to terms with accepting the positive correlation of pain with aging. The age bracket below 75 years old had varying opinions with some accepting that advancement in age results in an increase in pain perception. Another group that was actively involved in reporting incidences of pain did not associate pain with aging. There were levels of unwillingness to take analgesic drugs as pain intervention measures. The group that was unwilling to be put on drugs was majorly the O.M 2 and O.F 2. The first group did take the drug help in coping with pain. The very elderly avoided using pharmacological interventions and wanted to manage pain without any form of pain reduction. A lot of incidences of pain perception among the very elderly went unmentioned.
Everyone had an opinion regarding healthcare professionals and highlighted their credibility in care for the elderly. Among the group that felt the healthcare officials were not doing their jobs effectively and efficiently, were the very elderly. Generally, more than half the percentage of the elderly felt unsatisfied with healthcare professionals since little research had been accorded in the treatment of pain. The recommendations given by different groups were primarily predetermined on whether they benefitted from the various interventions put in place. The elderly aged between 65-75 years old suggested that more research is conducted concerning pain management while 75 and above preferred less medication and more physiotherapy. After treatment pain was still being experienced at a minimal level, a reason compelling enough for most of the elderly to disregard completion treatment by the experts. Even some of the nurses have developed the notion that pain is correlated to aging, this has hindered further development of medication that work best for the elderly. It was a question that received correct answers in both categories.
It was surprising to find out that little was being done in trying to develop medication for the aged in attempt to lower pain perception. Both elderly males and females who live in care homes have a high chance of suffering from dementia and cognitive impairment. When this occurs, it becomes tough for the aged to express pain perception resulting in a poor evaluation and hence poor management of pain. As a nurse, to fully comprehend perception of pain on dementia adults, I have to recognize two essential systems; lateral pain system and the medical system. Sensory discriminative elements of pain occur in the former while motivational-effects elements of pain characterize the latter. It came to learning that pain perception among the elderly has been failing due to the presence of several barriers. Among the significant obstacles include; the belief that it is quite difficult for older people to endure opioids, elderly unwillingness to express pain thus no pain detection fully, and finally the idea that pain correlates with age. The three are among the significant hindrances in pain perception and prevent its proper management in healthcare centers (Schofield, 2007).
Pain prevalence among adults cannot be entirely ascribed to aging with certainty. There is a mixture of behavioral components in regards to pain perception; with some of the aged not showing any levels in an increase of pain while others indicate an increase in levels of pain perception. Potential barriers in pain perception lower the degree of detecting pain thus affecting prevalence. The aged display reluctance expressing pain, therefore, management of pain is not sufficiently accurate. Through knowledge acquired from interaction with the aged, a measure to put in place to detect and manage pain effectively would be devising means of obtaining pain confession indirectly. It becomes difficult for the aged that are reluctant in pain expression when an indirect approach is incorporated. The whole interviewing was both a learning process and helped foster my interaction with old. I am now fully aware that pain perception is a topic that has little research being based upon it. It is a personal challenge that I can embark on and ensure I contribute in the establishment of facts in the subject matter.
Home Assessment for Older Adults
I was able to conduct a home assessment for the aged using the guidelines stipulated by Home Safety Self-Assessment. The tool was efficient in understanding potential risks for the aged and developing solutions to put in place. The aged that lived alone were subjected to more threats than those living with their families. Some of the rented houses were in severe conditions considering difficulties that the matured experience as time goes by such as a decrease in sight perception. Some of the story buildings lacked ramps disadvantaging the aged on wheelchairs. There was also the absence of stable railings on the entrance section and lighting source. They would result in uncoordinated movement or even increase chances of falling. Some of the buildings and houses had outdoor grab bar while in some it was absent. On evaluating the pavement, problems noted included unevenness and cracks on the steps with some steps being too steep for the aged.
Among the solutions that I was able to derive was the provision of lighting systems that are clear enough to help in checking declining vision associated with the aged. On each wall of the story buildings, at the entrance part, railings were to be provided to foster support and movement. In homes with uneven steps that were also steep and uneven, the repair was a necessity and essential adjustments made in regards to reducing the steepness. An outdoor grab bar together with the provision of a wheelchair ramp would make life easier for the aged with they are to and fro movements being catered. Also in regards to impaired vision by the aged, the steps could be painted to boost their sight as each step with different paint application increasing awareness to height increase.