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Public Health Nursing Practice Manual

Seniors Mental Health

  • Inability to function independently may adversely affect behavior.

  • May have feelings of depression related to losses.

  • This age group has had the highest suicide rate since 1933 in the United States.

Primary Care Provider

  • An assigned health care provider for the senior ensures continuity of care.

Health Care Coverage

  • Almost all seniors age 65 and older qualify for Medi-Care coverage.

Dental Care

  • Poor dentition may adversely affect nutritional status.

  • Client should be encouraged to schedule preventive dental appointments every six months.

Family Violence

  • Elder Abuse Hotline: 877-477-3646.

  • Domestic Violence 800 978-3600 or local resource.

  • L.A. County Domestic Violence Council Resources and Information: 888-994-7575.

Safety and Injury Prevention

  • Prevention of falls is a top priority.

  • Client should assess home environment for hazards.

  • Poison Control: 800-222-1222.

  • Encourage client to schedule a routine eye examination.

  • Encourage family members to periodically assess client’s driving ability.

  • Seniors must wear a seat belt when riding in a vehicle according to State law.


  • Delayed or absent immunizations may adversely affect the health of the senior.

  • Senior may be due for Td booster, influenza and pneumococcal vaccines.


  • Food intake may be affected by loneliness, social isolation, lack of desire or skill to cook, financial hardship, physical problems, and special diet.

  • Eating the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day helps to prevent chronic diseases and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Low-income seniors may qualify for food stamps.

  • Contact the local area agency on aging for more information about senior meal sites: 800- 510- 2020 or local resource.

Exercise/Physical Activity

  • Strength training in addition to cardiovascular conditioning exercise can benefit seniors.

  • Perform any moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes on most

days of the week as recommended by the client’s provider.

© 2007 LAC DPH - Public Health Nursing


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