Respond by sharing additional insights or alternative perspectives. Support your feedback with evidence-based literature and/or your own experiences with clients.
Description of the Older Adult in need for Counseling Services
Catherine, not the real name of the client, is a 67-year-old woman who is brought for counseling with her daughter Maryanne. Maryanne has been going to see her mother every day for the last five years since her father died and her mother remained alone (Arslanoglou, 2019). Maryanne helps her mother with shopping, cleaning, cooking, and keeps her company sometimes when she is free from work. However, Catherine seems to need more and more help lately and her daughter feels like she may not be able to meet all her mother’s needs. Catherine is irritated by this and claims that her daughter does not care about her at all.
As a therapist, I go through the personal history of this family and determine that Catherine could be suffering from dementia according to the instructions laid forward by (Graham, 2013). The doctor confirms that this case is true and this enables me to coordinate with Maryanne to figure out the most appropriate and affordable professional services for Catherine. I also strive to help Maryanne and her mother, Catherine to understand some of the symptoms of this condition that could lead to communication difficulties between the two.
Therapeutic Approach with the Client and the Effectiveness of This Approach
In this case, I would use the therapy approach for geriatric issues. I would address some of the issues from the childhood of the client to early adulthood as well as the present life adjustments that could lead to anxiety, stress, depression, and other family concerns. Older adults are most likely to experience fear of loneliness, frailty, cognitive impairment, and bad temper that may cause stress and anxiety to them (Hannaford, 2019). But some older adults can manage to live independently and only experience a slight decrease in their intellectual abilities. However, this is not the same case for this client.
I would offer family therapy to both the patient and her daughter to help Maryanne to take great care of her mother as well as meet her needs as stated by (Graham, 2013). This will help Catherine to deal with her emotions and manage her expectations from her daughter. I will also give some resources on dementia to help Catherine read about anxiety and depression and how to manage them.
According to Hannaford (2019), this approach will positively improve the mental health of Catherine. Besides, I would suggest that Maryanne seek community support that promotes the health and wellbeing of older adults to help her mother to avoid being lonely and over-dependent on her daughter. This approach will also lead to positive family support towards giving compassionate and informed care to help the client to maintain her independence.
Additional Information about the Client that May Impact the Clinical Outcomes
Some of the factors that may affect the clinical outcomes for this case include frailty and multimorbidity (Arslanoglou, 2019). These factors are known to affect the quality of life of older adults and lead to adverse clinical outcomes. These factors may also impact the ability of the caregiver to offer help to the patient. Also, any underlying chronic illness may lead to an adverse clinical outcome (Hannaford, 2019). In this case, Catherine does not have any underlying chronic illness. She only has a history of dementia that keeps relapsing. In this case, therefore, the critical interventions to attain an optimum health outcome for Catherine could be through improved communication between the therapists, her daughter, and the client across the continuum of care.
Arslanoglou, E., Banerjee, S., Pantelides, J., Evans, L., & Kiosses, D. N. (2019). Negative emotions and the course of depression during psychotherapy in suicidal older adults with depression and cognitive impairment. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27(12), 1287-1295.
Graham, J. (2013, January 2). Aging adults face universal issues of access to care, poverty, discrimination. Retrieved from http://healthjournalism.org/blog/2013/01/aging-adults-face-universal-issues-of-access-to-care-poverty-discrimination
Hannaford, S., Shaw, R., & Walker, R. (2019). Older Adults’ Perceptions of Psychotherapy: What Is It and Who Is Responsible?. Australian Psychologist, 54(1), 37-45.
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