Counselor Awareness: Working with the Aging Paper
Write a paper of 700-1,000 words, in which you evaluate your opinions and beliefs regarding older adults and address the following:
- Describe stereotypes about older adults that are prevalent in society
- Discuss how those stereotypes affect your personal beliefs concerning older adults.
- Describe the physical and cognitive issues involved in aging.
- Discuss the mental health treatment issues involved in working with the aging client. Include end-of-life considerations in your discussion.
- Discuss relevant counselor training and skills necessary for working with older adults.
Include at least two scholarly references in addition to the textbook in your paper.
Describe stereotypes about the elderly that are prevalent in society, and how those stereotypes affect your personal beliefs concerning the elderly
Older people are incompetent: According to (Rylee, 2015), older people have health problems and are unable to compete in the same tasks with the younger and energetic people who do not have health problems. Again, older people are associated with a slowed rate of attention and information processing. Despite this stereotype, I still respect their ancient ideas and consider them powerful in creating cohesiveness, unity, and oneness within the society.
Inevitable decline: As people age, they experience deterioration in function and memory. This stereotype has a consequence that some family members may believe that dementia is inevitable as an age-related health condition and thus fail to take them to hospitals. (Rylee, 2015). However, my personal belief concerning the elderly is that they deserve health care, and this has not been changed by the “inevitable decline” stereotype.
Aged people are vulnerable and helpless: In this stereotype, people suffering from “age-related health disorders” such as impaired hearing cannot benefit from rehab or interventions, they are helpless and the society cannot do anything to help that. (Rylee, 2015). However, this stereotype has not changed my attitude towards the aged, the elderly are not helpless insofar their family is concerned with their wellbeing.
Describe the physical and cognitive issues involved in aging
Aging comes with various physical issues to people. During late adulthood, muscle strength diminishes, the skin loses elasticity, and skin reaction rate slows further. Also, aging comes with frequent hearing and vision issues; impaired hearing is common and some other people encounter loss of vision/ eyesight. According to (Borson, 2010), other senses such as touch, taste, and smell become less sensitive as people reach 60 years and more. In addition, the body immune system becomes weak, and many aged people become more susceptible to diabetes, illness, cancer, and other ailments. There are also physical mobility and loss of balance issues to the aged.
Cognitive abilities such as memory are adversely affected in late adulthood. According to (Rylee, 2015), memory loss is very prevalent due to the decrease in speed of storage, encoding, and memory retrieval. Dementia, a neurocognitive disorder is also a common issue to people 65 years and above, and it is associated with deterioration in behavior, memory, thinking, and the ability to discharge everyday activities. The day to day functions of the aged people are highly affected by their inability to think and remember. According to (Borson, 2010), dementia affect visual-spatial ability, attention, memory, language, and executive function, for example decision making and judgment.
Discuss the mental health treatment issues involved in working with the aging client. Include end-of-life considerations in your discussion
In therapy, change in personality, dementia, sense of hopelessness, and uncharacteristic moodiness are the major mental health treatment issues prevalent with aging clients. (Antonette & Ann, 2016). A therapist needs to identify these warning signs of mental health risks to an aging client and act to treat him or her before the situation worsens. Behavioral management is the perfect intervention that a counselor should adopt when working with an aging client, this approach would help in treating depression and pain they suffer while restoring their dignity and giving them coping techniques while at this life stage.
Another approach is End-of-life care, and this comes with numerous challenges, for instance the management of pain and suffering for the clients, their families, and counselors. In this context, a professional therapist needs to consider the care of the dying aging client within the physical, psychological, and social experiences of an individual’s life. (Antonette & Ann, 2016). The elderly need end-of-life care for they are prone to loneliness, frequently endure pain, and are more sensitive to drugs and also to drug-drug interactions. With this doing, aging clients regain hope, control over their mental habit, and recognition that they are not abandoned.
Antonette, Z. M., & Ann, S. (2016). Treatment issues with elderly clients. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 3(2), 371-389.
Borson, S. (2010). Cognition, Aging and Disabilities: Conceptual Issues. Physical Medical Rehabilitation Clinic, 21(2), 375-382.
Rylee, D. A. (2015). Stereotypes of Aging: Their Effects on the Health of Older Adults. Journal of Geriatrics, 19-28.