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.
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- Go to chapter: Avoiding Diagnostic Fixation Errors: A Person-Focused Approach to Human Factors Analysis
This chapter focuses on the enormity of preventable medical errors that cause injury or death and one root cause associated with those errors called “human factors”. Human factors have been identified as a root cause of medical errors, particularly diagnostic errors. The chapter talks about latent failures, mental models, misdiagnosis, and sentinel event. The science of psychology and physiology tells us that the human mind works very rapidly, which raises the risk of making a judgment error. Human factors reengineering is discussed as a much-needed mechanism to address fixation errors and decrease diagnostic errors. Misdiagnosis is much too common in health care. A diagnostic fixation error is a phenomenon of clinging to a single presumed diagnosis despite mounting evidence that one is on the wrong track. The application of human factors engineering can and should include data from patients and their families so as to capture the most optimal solutions.