Interventions When Working with Older Adults
Art and music are said to be highly effective practices in enhancing communication as well as stimulating memory (Getz, 2022). Through Alison’s relatives, it would be important to find the kinds of music that Alison loves as this can help lighten her mood, help her feel less sad, and motivate her to engage in something that she might enjoy, like art.
It would be essential to assess Alison for any risk of suicide. Statistics show that even though older adults only make up 12 percent of the population, their rate of suicide is 18 percent, and 1 in 4 older adults who try to commit suicide is successful (National Council on Aging, 2021). Loneliness and depression increase the risk of suicidality, and therefore, it would be important to assess the client for this risk.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a highly effective form of dealing with depression as it helps individuals identify their unrealistic negative views about themselves, their experiences, and their future and challenge these thoughts and lessen the depression symptoms (Coon et al., 1999). Alison has been feeling sad and helpless; in addition, she has been sleeping more and eating less, which are symptoms of depression. CBT can be used to help Alison to learn some new ways of thinking and behaving. It will be important to assess the severity of the depressive symptoms and assess her cognitive ability to take on new behaviors and indulge in new thinking. Through CBT, realistic goals can be set collaboratively with Alison, and helping her identify the unhelpful thought patterns and learn new ways of modifying such thoughts will be necessary. For instance, one of the goals might be to reduce her level of sadness by engaging more in activities that she enjoys.
Coon, D. W., Rider, K., Gallagher-Thompson, D., & Thompson, L. (1999). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of late-life distress. Today’s Geriatric Medicine, 10 (1), 22.
Getz, L. (2022). People With Alzheimer’s Pool of Art and Music Memories Runs Deep. Social Work Today. Retrieved from https://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/exc_111510.shtml
National Council on Aging. (2021). Suicide and Older Adults: What You Should Know. Retrieved from https://www.ncoa.org/article/suicide-and-older-adults-what-you-should-know
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Alison is a 65-year-old female meeting with the Social Worker at her assisted living home. The staff at the assisted living home have noticed that Alison’s appetite has decreased; she has been sleeping more and has reported to the staff that she feels sad and hopeless.
As a Social Worker meeting with Alison, please review the readings and consider the following in your response:
*How can you apply the interventions from the readings with Alison?
*Do you think you would need to assess Alison for any risk of suicide?
*How would Cognitive Behavioral interventions be a useful intervention for Alison?
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