Running head: Counselor Awareness: Working with the Aging Counselor Awareness: Working with the Aging Dawnea Rodgers-Smith Grand Canyon University (PCN:530 December 5, 2012 Abstract This paper takes a look at three things. First how stereotypes about the elderly are pervelant in society, second, it discusses the physical and cognitive issues in aging. and finally it discusses the mental health treatment that are available for older adults. Counseling Awareness •Stereotypes
Considering this student has not had the opportunity to spend adulthood with her grandparents or great-grandparents, she does not have the experience of spending time with the older generation. She has never met her great-grandparents and both her maternal and paternal grandparents died before she was 20. Her mother died a few months after turning 60 but this student doesn’t consider that as being elderly. With that being said, this student can only relate to older adults from a distant-relationship point of view. This simple means her relationship with the older adult population is a world perspective view.
A few myths about aging that this student found interesting in an article titled, Myths of Aging, which was found in Psychology today. The following are few of the myths that were taken from the article: 1. The basic needs of aging people differ from that of the younger generations. According the article, basic human needs are continually the same unless there is a health related need that requires special care. 2. A lot of people believe that most elderly are senile. The reality is about 80% of the elderly are able to care for themselves without assistance. . Elderly people are not interested in new technologies like computers or the internet. About 41% of adults over the age of 65 are still using computers/internet. 4. Elderly people are incapable of learning new things. Elderly people are still capable of learning new things and retain that information but the speed in which to do so may began to diminish. 5. When elderly people begin to forget, it is usually a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Memory loss can come from many factors such as certain medical conditions, medications, or even depression. . Depression is very common among the elderly. Depression is not what happens as a result of aging, but it is an illness that can affect the elderly. After researching the myths of what society believes the elderly to be, this student has a better understanding of why the elderly are treated the way they are today. It makes better sense of why more elderly are being put into senior homes and living assisted facilities. This student feels it is almost as if the elderly are put into their own society away from the younger generation. Physical and cognitive issues in aging In regarding to cognitive processes in the elderly, older adults usually don’t lose their cognitive ability but their ability to record and retrieve information may slow down. There are some studies that have shown older adults having an impaired cognitive control that begins to deteriorate in the frontal brain regions which shows a deficit on attention and memory recall. (JRRD, 2008). In regards to physical ability, the body normally begins to slow down as humans get older. Bones become more fragile and can be easier to break.
Illness can take much longer to recover from and chronic illness is much more prevalent in the aging adult. (PCN 530 lecture, 2012). Although physically the body does change as it gets older, elderly people are still capable and should still be as active as possible in order to stay as healthy. •Mental health treatment A therapist role in when dealing with the elderly should more that of an educator, in order to teach the elderly about the types of changes that can occur while aging. This will dismiss any preconceived ideas of what they hink is happening to them opposed to what is expected to happen to them. Therapist can encourage physical activity for the elderly by helping to create schedules as well as make appropriate referrals for medical reasons. Overall, the therapist role should be that of support and encouragement as to make the elderly feel comfortable in their present being. References Grand Canyon University (GCU). (2102). Aging and long Term Care: An overview PCN 530 Lecture. Retrieved from http: lllcgcu. edu learning platform/user/user. htm Tan, S (2001, January0. Myths of aging. Retrieved from www. pyschologytoday. com .