The Elderly and Understanding Difficult Behaviors. Chinita Manbeck , LMSW. Introduction.
Unaddressed depression in the older adult is too often assumed to be an untreatable form of dementia. Memory loss is not a normal part of aging.
The excessive collection and retention of things or animals. An excessive attachment to items collected and the inability to part with them. Stems from the inability to make decisions or fear of loss.
Elderly with dementia and Schizophrenia 700,000 to 1.4 million of them are hoarders.
Older adults hoard for the following reasons:
Screening for drug abuse in the elderly can be complicated. Symptoms can be masked by normal or perceived signs of aging, the elderly may deny symptoms of abuse, and may be unaware of their misuse. The elderly do not fit the typical drug abuser profile or stereotype and therefore awareness and services for this population are lacking.
Treatment may include psychopharmacology, cognitive behavior therapy, reminiscence therapy, behavior therapy, education, and increased social support.
Cognitive therapy is an effective, directive, time-limited approach to helping people change their irrational thoughts, assumptions, and beliefs. Cognitive therapy and medications have been more effective than either treatment alone. Cognitive theory suggests that disorders arise from a negative view of the world and from automatic and negative thinking patterns (e.g., the future is bleak, the world is bleak, and the self is worthless).
Reminiscence therapy is the process of recalling personal experiences from an individual’s past. The theory behind RT is that an individual’s function is improved by decreasing demands on impaired cognitive abilities; it is a way to affirm who they are, what they’ve accomplished in their lives, and a chance to relive happy times. For those who suffer with dementia, depression or anxiety it is a way to talk easily about things they do remember.
Behavioral therapy is a treatment that helps change potentially self-destructing behaviors, also called behavioral modification. This type of therapy is utilized to replace bad habits with good ones and helps individuals cope with difficult situations; most often used to treat anxiety disorders. Most behaviorally oriented therapists believe that the current environment is most important in affecting the person’s present behavior, while early life experiences and emotional/psychological conflicts are less important.
Behavior therapy is generally intended to improve the individual’s self-control by expanding coping skills, abilities, and independence.
ABCT. (2009). Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy Fact Sheet On Aging. Retrieved from Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy: http://www.abct.org/docs/Members/FactSheets/Aging%200907.pdf
Ashford, J. B., & LeCroy, C. W. (2010). Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Belmont: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.
Basca, B. (2008). The Elderly and Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse. Santa Rosa: Center for Applied Research Solutions.
Blacker, S., & Christ, G. (n.d.). PALLIATIVE CARE WITH OLDER ADULTS SECTION 2: SOCIAL WORK ROLE IN PALLIATIVE CARE. Retrieved from Council on Social Work Education: http://www.cswe.org/File.aspx?id=24173
Bogner, H., Fulmer, T., Gallo, J., & Paveza, G. J. (2006). Depression Assessment. In J. Gallo, & M. Wittink, Handbook of Geriatric Assessment Fourth Edition (pp. 1-473). Sudbury: Jones amd Bartlett Publishers.
ELLIN, A. (2013, April 22). How Therapy Can Help in the Golden Years. Retrieved from New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/how-therapy-can-help-in-the-golden-years/?_r=2
Kirst-Ashman, K. (2008). Human behavior, communities, organizations, and groups in . Belmont: Brooks/Cole.
Kist-Ashman, K. H. (2006). Understanding Generalist Practice 4th Edition. Belmont: Brooks/Cole.
Knight, B. G. (2009). Psychotherapy and Older Adults Resource Guide. American Psychological Association .
Miller, D. (2012, September). What You Need To Know” Understanding & Managing Difficult Behavior. Texas: Fundamental Long Term Care.
Swanbrow, D. (2007, October 31). One in 7 Americans over age 70 has dementia. Retrieved from University Of Michigan News Services: http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/6140
Watson, K. E. (2011). Reminiscence Therapy Benefits Residents. Provider Magazine.