Since the aging process is manifested uniquely by each individual, assessing function and expectations of care is essential.
The term “normal aging” may lead to the belief that there is a typical way for older adults to age, both behaviorally and physiologically. Older adults living in a wide variety of settings represent a broad spectrum of strengths, resources, needs, wishes, and expectations.
Functional status assessment utilizing standardized tools, such as the How to Try This® Series and communication techniques to recognize, respond to, and respect older adults’ and caregivers’ expectations regarding outcomes of care, create a way to frame aging differently and to foster relationship-centered care.
End-of-life care includes comfort management, honest communication, coordination of care, and profound respect for the preferences of older adults or caregivers to affirm the uniqueness of each person’s life.