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Week 11 Discussion
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Since our older generation is the fastest-growing sector of the population as mental health providers, we will be seeing more older adults. Consequently, older clients are underserved when it comes to mental health services, and many do not receive the treatment that they may need (Wang, Tzeng, & Chang, n.d.). Therefore, it is vital that, as providers, we are aware of the individual needs of the older client population. Some of the reasons that older clients to not receive the mental health care they need are the lack of knowledge and the stigma of receiving mental health services (Petkus & Wetherell, 2013). The good news is that most of the research surrounding older adults and therapy has shown to be useful, especially when treating depression in older clients. CBT has also been researched in the treatment of anxiety in older adults and has also been helpful (Petkus & Wetherell, 2013).
We need to consider some things when treating the older client: cognitive changes that happen as we age, such as decreased processing speed, working memory, and attention span, which are standard parts of the aging process. Also, it is essential to be aware of the functional limitations of chronic illnesses that older adults face (Watkins, Cheston, Jones, & Gilliard, n.d.). I have led a group of older adults with depression, and I used Cognitive Behavioral therapy as my approach. It can be much harder to change the thoughts and emotions of older people that have lived much of their life already. It is essential to be patient and understanding when dealing with older clients.
Petkus, A. J., M A, & Wetherell, J. L. (2013). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Older Adults: Rationale and Considerations. Cognitive and behavioral practice, 20(1), 47–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpra.2011.07.004
Wang, C.-C., Tzeng, D.-S., & Chung, W.-C. (n.d.). The effect of early group psychotherapy on depressive symptoms and quality of life among residents of an apartment building for seniors. PSYCHOGERIATRICS, 14(1), 38–46. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/psyg.12037
Watkins, R., Cheston, R., Jones, K., & Gilliard, J. (n.d.). “Coming out” with Alzheimer’s disease: Changes in awareness during a psychotherapy group for people with dementia. AGING & MENTAL HEALTH, 10(2), 166–176. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1080/13607860500312209
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