Posted: September 6th, 2022
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As demonstrated in this week’s Discussion, social workers must uphold the value of dignity and worth of the person, as well as the ethical standard of self-determination, as they navigate assessment of elderly/aging adults. Another area in which assessment of this population can be complex is that mental health disorders may mimic cognitive issues or even the natural progression of aging. It may be difficult to determine, for example, whether a particular symptom is due to mental illness or memory loss. This is where knowledge of human behavior and the social environment can assist as you parse through all the information you are receiving from the client, caregivers, and other professional providers.
Though you won’t be diagnosing in this course, it is important for you to become familiar with common mental health diagnoses (via the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM]) for this population and how assessment tools connect with diagnosis. In this Assignment, you select a tool used for assessing elderly/aging clients and analyze how it might inform diagnosis.
Brandell, J. R. (Ed.). (2020). Theory & practice in clinical social work (3rd ed.). Cognella.
• Chapter 15, “Clinical Practice With Older Adults” (pp. 334–355)
Elman, A., Rosselli, S., Burnes, D., Clark, S., Stern, M. E., LoFaso, V. M., Mulcare, M. R., Breckman, R., & Rosen, T. (2020). Developing the emergency department elder mistreatment assessment tool for social workers using a modified Delphi technique. Health & Social Work, 45(2), 110–121. https://doi.org/10.1093/hsw/hlz040
Hung, M., Voss, M. W., Bounsanga, J., Graff, T., & Birmingham, W. C. (2019). Assessing spousal support and health in an aging population: Support and strain amidst changing social dynamics. Social Work in Health Care, 58(4), 345–367. https://doi.org/10.1080/00981389.2019.1569577
Tampi, R. R., & Tampi, D. J. (2020). The most prevalent psychiatric disorder in older adults. Psychiatric Times, 37(7), 44–45. https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/most-prevalent-psychiatric-disorder-older-adults
American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). Online assessment measures. https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm/educational-resources/assessment-measures
• Access the Online Assessment Measures link in the Learning Resources.
• On that site, explore at least three different assessment tools for elderly/aging adults under the various categories. A few that you may consider are: Severity Measure for Depression, Adult; Severity Measure for Separation Anxiety Disorder, Adult; and Severity Measure for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Adult.
• Select one assessment tool that you can see yourself using in practice with elderly/aging adult clients. Do not use a tool that you have chosen previously.
• Consider why you have chosen this assessment tool and its strengths and limitations.
• With the elderly/aging population in mind, consider common mental health diagnoses for this population and how the assessment tool you have chosen may assist with diagnosis.
Submit a 1-page paper analyzing the assessment tool you have chosen:
• Why did you select the assessment tool?
• Why might it be especially helpful for use with elderly/aging adults?
• What challenges or limitations might there be for this assessment tool?
• What are two common mental health diagnoses associated with the elderly/aging population, and how might the assessment tool you identified assist with diagnosis?
Use the Learning Resources to support your Assignment. Make sure to provide APA citations and a reference list.
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