An 83-year-old patient is brought in by ambulance from a long-term care facility. The patients symptoms are weakness, lethargy, incontinence, and a change in mental status. The nurse knows that emergencies in older adults may be more difficult to manage. Why would this be true?

Answer Explanation: Emergencies in this age group may be more difficult to manage because elderly patients may have an atypical presentation, an altered response to treatment, a greater risk of developing complications, or a combination of these factors. The elderly patient may perceive the emergency as a crisis signaling the end of an independent lifestyle or even resulting in death. Stigmatization and nonadherence to treatment are not commonly noted. Older adults do not necessarily have difficulty giving a health history.

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