The medical model in psychiatry assumes medical intervention is the treatment of choice for the constellations of diagnosed symptoms that comprise various mental disorders. These treatments may include pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment, brain stimulation, and psychosurgery. Therefore, psychopharmacology for older adults can be considered palliative rather than a cure for a brain disease causing psychopathology. Older adults experience many psychopathological problems, including anorexia tardive, anxiety disorders, delusional disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and co-occurring disorders with substance abuse/dependence disorders. Therefore, it is critical for the social worker to understand the various manifestations of psychological problems in older adults from the perspective of an older adult, rather than extrapolating information commonly taught in social work programs that neglect to focus on older adults and restrict teaching to psycho-pathological problems in younger and middle-aged adults.
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The baby boom cohort brings with it multiple types of substance abuse. Bisexual older adults have more co-occurring psychological problems than heterosexual older adults, older gay males, and older lesbians. An interesting finding is that immigration is contributory to older adult substance abuse. Older adults with alcohol-abuse problems do not seek help for their problems. Rather, they are often identified as having an alcohol-use problem when seeking care for other medical or psychological problems. Social workers assessing an older adult for alcohol abuse often confuse symptoms of possible alcohol abuse with dementia. Prescribing opioids and synthetic opioids to an older adult is complicated. An older adult can suffer from many forms of inner tension. Combining motivational interviewing with cognitive behavioral therapy is shown to be more effective for treating substance abuse that either therapeutic modality alone.
For older adults, the phenomenon of death is accepted and does not induce the fear experienced by younger adults. Older adults who do not engage in end-of-life planning may receive unwanted, unnecessary, costly, and painful medical interventions or withdrawal of desired treatment. Many older people feel that the goal of palliative care is to make the best possible dying experience for the older adult and his/her family. In addition to palliative care, an older adult will most likely find himself or herself in an intensive care unit as part of his or her terminal care. Euthanasia, or hastened death, is seen by some as an alternative to palliative care. A psychological aspect of death that an older adult is concerned with, in addition to place of death, is whether he or she will die in his or her sleep or die suddenly, making the death experience an individual phenomenon.
The learning landscape continues to evolve as new technological tools enable teachers to deliver robust learning experiences. It is important to help teachers, administrators, and students know where to begin so that the transition to virtual learning is smooth, without educational loss. This chapter consists of two sections: current trends and issues in technology integration and technological pedagogical content knowledge. The first section briefly reviews the trends in instructional or educational technologies that are causing administrators, teachers, and students to reflect on and modify their thinking about learning and educational content delivery. The second section explores constructivism, the scientific underpinnings of nursing informatics, and ethics. Nurse educators must also address the ethical challenges brought about by this evolving learning landscape. After reading this chapter, one can understand current trends and issues, as well as the influence of nursing informatics and ways to approach new ethical dilemmas.
Healthcare is in a state of rapid change. Although practice environments have become more complex, educational delivery methods have remained stagnant. Innovative technologies provide opportunities to enhance nursing student learning and help nursing programs become more responsive to changes in the practice environment; however, obstacles may hinder successful implementation. With the increasing complexity of today’s health care environment, innovations in nursing curricula are necessary. This chapter explores some of the general challenges associated with the integration of innovative educational technologies, as well as some challenges unique to virtual simulation. It helps the reader to analyze the challenges of integrating educational technologies into nursing education associated with faculty, administrators, and students. It also helps the reader to examine practical and philosophical barriers related to technology integration and explores challenges unique to the adoption of virtual simulation.
Simulation has many advantages for nursing education, some of which include creating safe learning environments for students and reinforcing information learned in the classroom; it also has the advantage of being available in inclement weather as well as 24 hours a day for student access. Simulation in nursing is one of many methods used for teaching students. Teaching and learning in a virtual learning environment has many advantages for administrators, faculty, and students. One of the advantages includes the use of other disciplines to help create or participate in a virtual world learning experience. The virtual learning environment can be created to look similar to real communities, disaster areas, or homes, with avatars populating that environment. The advantage to using virtual reality, rather than a real-life experience, is that in real life, students could be immersed in an environment that could cause them harm.
This concluding chapter summarizes the major points regarding elder abuse (EA) presented in the preceding chapters. It concludes the chapter by taking one last opportunity to encourage exploration and initiation of system-level efforts to solve a major public health problem. The socioecological framework for violence prevention utilized within domestic and global public health work is applicable and extendable to EA. Throughout this book, the authors have argued that EA is a public health problem and that EA may well be among the most under-recognized and under-resourced population health problems of the early 21st century. Public health has frameworks, tools, approaches, relationships, structures, systems, and a variety of agents and organizations poised to address the problem of EA. The imprimatur of the growing population of older adults and the character of demographic transitions occurring globally provide the perfect rationale for action—now.
- Go to chapter: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Personal Perspectives on Theory Development in Aging
This chapter provides a brief introduction to approaches to coping theory-from its early roots in psychodynamic defense mechanisms, through cognitive and personality approaches to coping styles, to more current work on coping and adaptive processes. The coping process approach recognizes that coping strategies are influenced not only by person characteristics such as personality, values, and developmental history but also by environmental demands and resources. The chapter develops a definition of ‘resilience’ as the ability to recognize, utilize, and develop or modify resources at the individual, community, and sociocultural levels in the service of three goal-related processes: maintenance of optimal functioning, given current limitations; development of a comfortable life structure; and development of a sense of purpose in life. A common assumption of life-span developmental theories is that the increasing physical and sometimes cognitive limitations with age necessitate changes in adaptive processes.
This chapter reviews biodemographic theories of aging that attempt to answer the proverbial ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions in gerontology. Biodemography of aging represents an area of research that integrates demographic and biological theory and methods and provides innovative tools for studies of aging and longevity. The historical development of the biodemography of aging is closely interwoven with the historical development of statistics, demography, and even the technical aspects of life insurance. The chapter also reviews some applications of reliability theory to the problem of biological aging. Reliability theory of aging provides theoretical arguments explaining the importance of early-life conditions in later-life health outcomes. Moreover, reliability theory helps evolutionary theories explain how the age of onset of diseases caused by deleterious mutations could be postponed to later ages during the evolution this could be easily achieved by simple increase in the initial redundancy levels.