The Influence of Lifestyle Choices on Health in the Older Patient: How Your Patients’ Lives Affect Their Health and Longevity

~ Exam ~

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1. As of now, healthy behavior can add about how many years of life to an average person’s lifespan?

  a. Two.

  b. Eight.

  c. Fifteen.

  d. Twenty-five.


2. A patient who has lived past 100:

  a. Had the same possible lifespan at birth, but much healthier habits, than those who died at 85.

  b. Most likely has genes whose influence was more important than even very bad health habits.

  c. Probably combined an unusual genetic predisposition to long life with good health habits.

  d. May have good genes and good health habits, but has an “X factor” that has yet to be identified.


3. Another characteristic of your centenarian patients is that:

  a. They may well be functioning at the same level as your patients in their 80s.

  b. They most certainly have some level of dementia.

  c. They have likely been in a nursing home for at least 15 years.

  d. They may still live at home, but are likely much frailer than your patients in their late 80s.


4. According to the article, for which might you recommend exercise?

  a. Loneliness.

  b. Cognitive ability.

  c. Depression.

  d. All of the above.


5. A patient complains about problems that occur when he drinks but he says he is the moderate drinker he has always been. The best response would be to:

  a. Challenge the patient for lying because honesty is always the best policy.

  b. Ask for a list of all prescription and non-prescription medications.

  c. Give the patient alcohol and check to see how long it takes the blood alcohol level to return to normal.

  d. Note in the chart that the patient seems to have short term memory loss and refer him to a detoxification program.


6. The only reason among those below for nurses not to treat an elder patient’s depression is:

  a. Depression can occur at the same time as many other illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

  b. Depression can be a primary reason for poor diet.

  c. Depressed elders are less likely to participate in physical activity.

  d. Depression is a normal response to the losses of later life.


7. In terms of personality, your centenarian patients:

  a. Developed an optimistic personality over time as they learned to handle life’s challenges.

  b. Have a healthy ability to deny their physical ailments.

  c. Are able to handle stress well.

  d. All of the above.


8. Being in caregiver/receiver relationship can affect the physical and mental health of:

  a. The caregiver negatively.

  b. The care receiver negatively.

  c. Both caregiver and care receiver negatively.

  d. Both caregiver and care receiver either positively or negatively.


9. Patients who consider themselves to be religious:

  a. May be healthier because they go to religious services more often.

  b. May not take care of themselves because they have less fear of dying.

  c. Are more likely to recover from serious illness if they include “religious struggle” as part of how they cope with their medical condition.

  d. Are more pessimistic about recovery because they are angry at fate for their illness.


10. Education is a predictor of good health and long life:

  a. Only as it affects both occupation and income.

  b. Even when income is controlled for.

  c. Principally when it is accompanied by less dangerous work.

  d. Mainly because of its affect on income.


11. Your elder patients who are members of minority groups:

  a. Perceive that they are less healthy, but are actually about as healthy as whites.

  b. May not be receiving the level of care they need and therefore less healthy.

  c. Live as long as whites but in poorer health.

  d. Perceive that they do not receive adequate care because of past discrimination that actually no longer exists because of Medicare.


12. An elder patient who has had good diet and exercise habits tells you that she is concerned because one parent died young and the other had Alzheimer’s disease. Which would not be among your good responses?

  a. Reassure the patient that she can still live long and so needs a variety of healthy habits.

  b. Suggest doing more crossword puzzles.

  c. Be honest with the patient about her own prospects for a shorter-than-average lifespan no matter what her health habits.

  d. Tell her to mend family relationships before it’s too late.


13. Based on anti-aging products currently on the market, nurses should prepare themselves for a future in which:

  a. Lifespans are not significantly different from those of today.

  b. Diet and exercise will be less important but still important for good health.

  c. Dementia will be much less prevalent than now.

  d. More people will live to greater ages but with more frailty.


14. Incontinence and sexual dysfunction are two issues that frequently embarrass older patients. As a result, nurses should:

  a. Ask about them anyway if the patient complains of loneliness.

  b. Avoid talking about them to maintain the patient’s comfort.

  c. Only bring them up if they relate to the primary reason for the office visit.

  d. Not discuss them because these are normal conditions of aging.


15. The most important service listed below that nurses can provide to patients with a family caregiver is:

  a. Counseling both patient and caregiver about the role of genetics in longevity since they are likely to belong to the same family.

  b. Nothing beyond what the patient originally came in for so that the family caregiver does not feel you are interfering.

  c. Offering help to caregivers since care receivers will many times only accept help if their family member does also.

  d. Helping the patient be more independent in those areas that are most difficult for the caregiver.


16. An active elder patient seems in need of social support but won’t go to a counselor. What is the best response among those listed below?

  a. Wait to see if the situation improves since the patient may not be able to afford the 50% Medicare co-pay.

  b. Refer him to Meals-on-Wheels.

  c. Recommend a fitness class at a community center.

  d. Suggest a community college course to improve educational level.


17. Your elder patient refuses to leave the house to participate in a fitness program though you believe he is physically able. What might the best response be?

  a. Loan him a fitness videotape since some exercise is better than none.

  b. Suggest he volunteer as a Meals-on-Wheels deliver person.

  c. Suggest he get a volunteer visitor program to reduce loneliness.

  d. Don’t add to his stress by trying to force him to do things he does not want to do.


18. Your local senior center likely provides:

  a. Mainly social and recreational activities.

  b. Activities ranging from bridge to health clinics to spirituality.

  c. Both community activities and social workers for homebound elders.

  d. Mainly social workers for homebound elders.


19. A state-designated agency that provides a variety of services, especially for frail elders, is called:

  a. A home care corporation.

  b. A state department of elder services.

  c. A senior center.

  d. An elder community services coordinating agency.


20. Your first call in determining what community-based elder services are available in your area is the:

  a. State Department of Elder Services.

  b. Eldercare Locator.

  c. Private Geriatric Care Manager.

  d. Case Management Agency.