Elder care involves a specific knowledge base and particular approach to understanding and managing elder adult's normal aging, problems and chronic conditions. The term elderly (geriatrics) starts from about age of 65 years. In addition to age, other factors to consider are functional status/reserves that decrease with age, and increase vulnerability or frailty. The older adult may:
exhibit one or more geriatric syndromes
develop or be living with one or more chronic conditions
have a health problem that can lead to another condition or injury
experience healthcare in various settings, the hospital, assisted living or at home
These situations can affect the health and function of the older adult and therefore require careful management to ensure proper care and improve or maintain quality of life
The Karnofsky Performance Scale Index allows patients to be classified as to their functional impairment. This can be used to compare effectiveness of different therapies and to assess the prognosis in individual patients. The lower the Karnofsky score, the worse the survival for most serious illnesses.
The ESAS is a tool that was developed to assist in the assessment of nine symptoms that are common in palliative care patients: pain, tiredness, drowsiness, nausea, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, and wellbeing. There is also a blank scale for patient-specific symptoms.