Stigma is the foundation that distorts the many social constructs affecting how social workers view older adults. Many socially constructed optics produced by stigma can bias social workers’ views of older people. It is important for a social worker to understand that race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are social constructs that bias clinical care. Additionally, stigma associated with race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation produce psychosocial stressors that converge on older clients, which exacerbate their physical and psychological health statuses. The stigma of mental illness serves to increase the suffering of older people struggling with psychological problems while increasing the suffering of family members, loved ones, and caregivers who experience courtesy stigma. The stigma of suffering from mental illness may also prevent an older person from seeking treatment for his or her psychological problems. Older adults suffering from dementia also suffer from the negative reactions to them because of their diagnosis.
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The book examines various theories of aging including a contrast between the strengths-based person-in-environment theory and the pathologically based medical model of psychological problems. It advocates truly engaging with the older client during the assessment phase, and discusses a variety of intervention modalities. The book integrates an advanced clinical social work practice with in-depth knowledge of evidence-based practice as well as geriatric medicine, psychiatry and gerontology. The social worker must evaluate the status of the client’s housing, transportation, food, clothing, recreation opportunities, social supports, access to medical care, kinship and other factors considered important by the social worker or the client. Constructivist theory is a conceptual framework that is foundational to existential therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and narrative therapy, which are effective for older adults. Stigma associated with race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation produce psychosocial stressors that converge on older clients. The book discusses several medical conditions affecting older adults such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritic pain, diabetes and various types of cancers. Older adults may also suffer from substance abuse-related problems, hypersexuality, and various types of abuse such as neglect. The book also highlights the problems faced by the older adult LGBT community and those suffering from HIV disease. It ends with discussions on care and residential settings for the older adults, and palliative care and euthanasia.
Older adults experiencing cognitive decline and any of the dementias are suffering in ever increasing numbers. With the aging of the baby-boom generation, the incidence of cognitive decline and dementia will exponentially escalate over the coming years. With this coming tsunami of dementia, older adults experiencing dementia, as well as their family members and caregivers, will need the services of psychologists. Psychologists are needed to help families recognize the importance of end-of-life planning for an older adult when first diagnosed with a dementia. When an older adult understands that he or she has responsibility for and choice in the decision to abuse a psychoactive substance, there is a greater probability of successful treatment and recovery from a substance abuse problem. Psychologists are in a unique position to assess whether older abuse is occurring and, when discovered, to intervene with advocacy initiatives.Source:
The medical model of psychopathology currently guides psychiatrists and many psychologists who are treating older adults experiencing psychological problems. Use of this model causes contradictions and distortions for the treating clinician and limits the effectiveness of treatment for older adults experiencing psychological problems. There are three areas of concern that illustrate these contradictions and distortions. The first area of concern is the fact that only two classes of psychiatric diagnoses meet the characteristics of a disease. The second area of concern is how the current use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) continues a tradition among psychiatry, managed-care companies, and insurance companies that puts pressure on psychiatrists, psychologists, hospitals, and psychiatric rehabilitation facilities to treat in the most cost-effective and short-term manner. The third area of concern is the relationship that has occurred between psychiatry and pharmaceutical marketing forces.Source:
This book differs from most others related to teaching online because it takes a how-to approach with the twin goals of answering the call to transform nursing education and benefiting from research in cognitive psychology. Each chapter includes relevant concepts, theories, and models to guide course design and teaching online, as well as templates that can be downloaded to save precious time. The focus in the book is on the RN-BSN, master’s, DNP, and PhD programs, as they comprise most of the online programs in nursing, but the contents are applicable to teaching any level of nursing online. Teaching and assessment are one when teaching online; they are not individual activities and cannot really be separated. This is an important concept to grasp, especially if people are a seasoned classroom instructor accustomed to creating separate assignments that add to one’s workload. The book explores how this interconnected approach works. Grading is an important function that drives learning and deserves some attention, as the author thinks people have lost their way to some degree when assessing what constitutes academic achievement. Rubrics have replaced other grading strategies, but not all meet the expectation of greater objectivity in grading, which is their initial intent. A hot topic in online education that relates to workload is the expectation of faculty presence in an online course from both faculty’s and the student’s perspective. This topic is explored in the book. Converting a classroom-based course to the online environment can be a time-consuming task without some guidance as to where to start. Online education is more than uploading one’s classroom lectures into the Learning management systems. The book provides a step-wise approach with some additional tips on converting a classroom course to the online environment.
Mental health workers need to be members of the disaster response team from the onset and take mental health services to survivors. A range of psychological and emotional responses to disaster are normal and should not be “pathologized” or “medicalized”. This chapter helps the reader to identify the psychosocial effects likely to occur in various types of disasters, identify the elements of a community impact and resource assessment, and describe the normal reactions of children and adults to disaster. It provides brief description on bioterrorism and toxic exposures, community impact and resource assessment, normal reactions to abnormal events, special needs popluations, and community reactions and responses. The psychosocial impact of a disaster and the resources that will be needed to respond to the disaster can be estimated based on data from past experiences with a variety of natural and man-made disasters.
- Go to chapter: Historical Perspectives on the Research of Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Social Support
Social isolation and loneliness are distinct concepts with a research history that evolved separately over many decades in the disciplines of sociology, psychology, psychiatry, and epidemiology. This chapter provides a historical overview of highlights from the research on social isolation, loneliness, and social support, and considers the implications of that research on current practice. It also explains the diversity of perspectives in the way one analyze human social engagement and allows for more personalized assessment of social needs and more targeted delivery of social programs and services. Researchers continue in their efforts to find effective interventions for social isolation and loneliness and for effective delivery of social support, and while one await further guidance, one can use the concepts and theories developed over decades to inform our practice. Awareness of the long research history will result in more targeted and effective help for individuals who need it.
This book is intended as an approachable reference guide for one of the most common neurological conditions, Parkinson’s disease and the spectrum of Parkinson-like syndromes. Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects older adults. The book outlines the new advances in the management and treatment of the Parkinson patient, comparing risks and benefits as well as efficacy of new and older anti-Parkinson’s disease drugs. The task of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease and providing comprehensive guided treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach. Those involved in the diagnosis and care of the patient include neurologists; nurse practitioners; nurses; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; sleep medicine specialists; neuropsychologists; psychiatrists; radiologists; nutritionists; and social workers. The book is divided into seventeen chapters spread across four sections. The first section, Parkinson’s Disease, describes the following: neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease, patient exam, idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, imaging and advanced studies, neuropsychological analysis, and additional evaluations. The second section, Parkinsonisms, discusses Parkinson-plus syndromes and other Parkinsonisms. The third section, Treatment of Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease, describes treatment of motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms such as autonomic dysfunction, sleep disturbances, disturbances of thought, and neuropsychiatric symptoms. The final section, Alternative Therapies and Other Considerations, talks about exercise, complementary and alternative therapies, nutrition, and caregiver burden. The book provides additional details such as Hoehn and Yahr Scoring scale, drugs that should be avoided in patients with Parkinson’s disease, patient-prepared information, standardized intake questions for evaluating a Parkinson’s patient, standardized questions for evaluating the patient in a follow-up visit, and resources in the appendices.
The management of psychosocial effects begins with a sound plan to mitigate the adverse impact of the disaster on the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral capacity of the individual. Involvement of mental health professionals, such as psychiatric nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, should begin with the development of the community or agency disaster plan. Management of the psychosocial effects of disaster will continue long after the initial impact. Psychological first aid is an evidence-informed approach designed to reduce distress in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and foster adaptive functioning and coping. Major depression and PTSD can be disabling consequences of exposure to disaster among those of any age group, thus, early diagnosis and treatment are critical to the prevention of future disability. There is a growing body of research identifying that effective treatment for PTSD and cognitive behavioral approaches along with exposure therapy are most likely to be beneficial.
Although assisted living administrators do not serve as clinicians to older persons within their facility, understanding normal psychological changes related to the aging process allows administrators to perform their work more effectively. Understanding many of the normal aging-related changes in neurological functioning, mental health functioning, memory, and cognition can be important in understanding how elders function in assisted living communities. Furthermore, issues related to memory changes, dementia, depression, suicide risk, alcohol, and substance abuse can be commonly experienced by the elderly. An awareness and understanding of these issues can be beneficial to assisted living administrators. Many individuals associate memory changes and problems as an inherent part of the aging process. This chapter identifies and presents best practices in selected areas associated with psychological aspects of aging. Best practices can provide administrators with information and examples of strategies for approaching some of the psychological issues present in aging individuals.