How do you interview a geriatric patient?

How do you interview a geriatric patient?

How do you interview a geriatric patient?

This enriching learning experience will encompass the interviewing process, recognition of physical changes and emotional characteristics of the aging as well as the factors, which influence the medical and dental health of the aging population.  The assignment will be based upon two, one-hour interviews with an individual age 65 or older.  The student will be provided with interview guidelines, questions, and an interview permission slip.  The summary will be a computer-typewritten report, which is due November 10th.  The interview summary, medical history and permission form are all that need to be turned in.




  1. Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the interview. Ask person what they prefer to be called.   e., Mrs. Smith or Mary.


  1. Explain the types of questions that you will be asking them. Please inform the person that they will be questions of a personal nature.


  1. If you plan on using a recording device, please ask permission prior to pulling it out. (Try out the device beforehand to make sure it works, bring extra batteries.)


  1. It is imperative that you have the volunteer sign a consent form before the interview! The consent describes your project and assures him or her that the information given will be kept confidential.


  1. Arrange a time and place which is agreeable for the individual to be interviewed. Remember not to go to the home of a stranger, and remember that an elderly person’s energy level may be low at certain times of the day. Choose a quiet place free of interruptions. This interview is done best in two sitting so as not to exhaust the interviewee, and to get accurate and descriptive answers.


  1. Communication is improved if you seat yourself facing the individual about 2-3 feet away. Remember to speak slowly and clearly and offer feedback.  Do not be judgmental.


  1. Use open-ended questions. Avoid questions which can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.


  1. Remember it is common for elderly people to cry when they reminisce. Come prepared with a tissue, or be able to take a break if they need to.


  1. Relax! Take your time!  Enjoy listening to them.  Be patient if they take time answering.  It’s ok if you don’t do every question.  The important thing is letting them recall their life and tell it to someone who is interested in listening!


  1. Thank the person for sharing their history and experiences with you.


  1. Offer dental hygiene suggestions and recommendations to the person you are interviewing. This is an opportunity for both of you to learn from each other.



  1. Within your paper, provide a summary of your own feelings and opinions about the interview itself. How did it go? Was your interviewee easy to speak to? Did you learn anything? Were you surprised by anything you heard? Do the older adult’s opinions about medications and health correspond with your own? View the grading rubric to ensure that you have all components necessary for this project.


What is included in a geriatric assessment?


How do you interview a geriatric patient?



Review the health history with your elderly individual for accuracy and complete the following questions.


  1. How well do you feel is your medical health? How often do you visit the physician?
  2. Is there anything that interferes with your medical health? e., smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet, insufficient resources or medical insurance to seek medical care.
  3. How many medications do you take on a daily basis? What are they for? Do they result in xerostomia?
  4. Which factors that you participate in are those that promote your medical health? e., regular exercise, proper diet, adequate sleep, regular medical care.
  5. How well do you feel is your dental health? How often do you visit the dentist?
  6. Which factors interfere with your dental health? e., smoking, oral habits, poor diet, oral hygiene insufficient resources or dental insurance to seek dental care.
  7. What do you do to maintain your dental health? e., regular dental care, proper plaque control measures, good diet.
  8. Have you ever been told that you have an oral disease? Gingivitis, periodontitis, cavities, oral cancer?
  9. Do you have any oral pains? Have you spoken to a professional about it?
  10. What is does your dental care at home consist of?
  11. What services would you like to see provided at the dental office?
  12. Do you have any questions or concerns about your medical or dental health?
  13. Do you have medical insurance? Dental insurance? How do you pay for your health care?
  14. Are you edentulous?
  15. Do you wear an oral prosthesis? When did you obtain it? When did you last have it adjusted?
  16. How do you maintain your prosthesis on a daily basis?
  17. Do you have difficulty eating as a result of your teeth?
  18. Do you have any limitations to your daily activities?


Gerontology nursing questions and answers



How do you interview a geriatric patient?


Remember, these are sample questions, not a script.  Have a conversation with your candidate.  Feel free to expand on questions and even ask additional ones.


  1. What do you remember about your childhood? (Earliest memories, family, etc.)
  2. When and where were you born?
  3. What were your school days like? What level did you complete in school?
  4. What responsibilities did you have at home when you were young?
  5. Did you work outside the home? If so, what was your profession?  Would you choose the same occupation today?
  6. Did you go to university or college? How did you decide what you wanted to study?
  7. Do you have any military experience?
  8. Did you marry? If so, what do you remember about your wedding?  What do you see differently in the marriages of today and what has stayed the same?
  9. Do you have any children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren? How often do you see them?
  10. What’s different about growing up today from when you were growing up?
  11. Where did you live as a child? As an adult?
  12. Are you happy with where you live now?
  13. Who do you currently live with, is there a special reason behind the circumstances?
  14. Do you have a close relationship with any other person now? (Friends, family, significant other)
  15. Do you have any hobbies? Any collections?
  16. What’s your most cherished family tradition? Why is it important?
  17. How do you usually spend your day? What do you like to do in your spare time?
  18. What are you the most proud of in your life?
  19. Who has had the greatest influence on your life? How?
  20. Are you retired? If so, how has your life changed since retirement, how do you supplement your income? If not, why have you chosen not to retire, when do you think you will?
  21. Is there anything you would still like to do in your life? If you won $1 million tomorrow, what would you do with the money?
  22. What’s the hardest thing about growing older? The best thing?
  23. What advice do you have for a younger person?
  24. Did you visit the dentist as a child? What experiences did you have at the office?  How have dental visits changed over the years?