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GRIEF and LOSS The Shift in the Aging Population By Kenisha Rotibi, LMSW.

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Presentation on theme: "GRIEF and LOSS The Shift in the Aging Population By Kenisha Rotibi, LMSW."— Presentation transcript:

1 GRIEF and LOSS The Shift in the Aging Population By Kenisha Rotibi, LMSW

2 Case Study Case Study: Mr. Scott is a 85 year old man who recently had a surgery at a local hospital. The surgery went well but as Mr. Scott was prepared to go home and take care of himself. He was notified that he will no longer be able to go home but instead he would be sent to a nursing home. While in the hospital Mr. Scott was placed on a psychiatric unit, after completion of several test. An Adult Protective Services (APS) report was filed and the state petition for Guardianship for Mr. Scott. He is now under stated custody and now is placed in the same nursing home with his wife of 57 years (Mrs. Scott was placed two weeks prior).

3 Loss Generally we think of loss and in relation to the death of someone. However loss comes in many forms. We are affected by and grieve the loss of anything that we value or are attached to i.e. Loss of health as we age, of our family home as it becomes too big for us or loss of ability (e.g. with a stroke).

4 Grief Grief is the inevitable process we experience as the result of a loss. Grief involves a series of stages including denial or disbelief, fear, anger, depression, and finally acceptance. These stages may overlap, or come in a different order. During this process we may experience myriad emotions, such as confusion, sadness, fear, guilt or hopelessness. These feelings will vary in intensity according to the size or extent of a given loss. Grieving after a loved one's death is known as bereavement.

5 Common grief reactions Anxiety and fear Sadness and loneliness Anger and shock Hurt and guilt Relief and thankfulness Low energy Sleep disturbances Appetite disturbances Absentminded behavior Poor concentration

6 Stages of Grief The Stages of Grief Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance The Kübler-Ross model continues to be widely used as a means for measuring ones progress through the grief journey, a good foundation for those who are newly grieving and those who are encountering loss again.

7 Symptoms of Grief and Grieving What does it look entail? Grief is expressed physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Physical expressions include crying and sighing, headaches, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, weakness, fatigue, feelings of heaviness, aches, pains, and other stress-related ailments. The stress of grieving may also weaken the immune system over time results in more frequent episodes of illness. For persons who have a chronic illness, grieving can exacerbate their condition. Emotional expressions include feelings of sadness and yearning as well as feelings of worry, anxiety, frustration, anger, and guilt All of these feelings are normal reactions to grief.

8 Symptoms of Grief and Grieving What does it look entail? Social expressions include feeling detached from others, isolating oneself from social contact, and behaving in ways that are not normal for the individual. Spiritual expressions include questioning the reason for the loss, the purpose of pain and suffering, the purpose of life, and the meaning of death. After a death, ones grieving process is influenced by how he or she views death.

9 Grief should not be confused with Depression Grief Roll coaster of Emotions Usually person is able to carry out activities obligations of daily living, after the first two or three weeks of grieving numbness, sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, or fear, people may also find moments of relief, peace, or happiness. Depression Feeling of Emptiness and Despair constant. Intense, pervasive sense of guilt. Thoughts of suicide or a preoccupation with dying. Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness. Slow speech and body movements. Inability to function at work, home, and/or school. Seeing or hearing things that arent there.

10 Obstacles in the process of Grieving for Aging Population Obstacles that can develop from grieving include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and physical illness. These are the type of grief reactions that tend to require social work interventions Depression is the most common condition that can develop when a person is grieving. Depression is especially common in adults who experience a divorce or death of a spouse. It is also very common in relation to developing a chronic illness or disability in the Aging Population.

11 Obstacles in the process of Grieving for Aging Population (cont.) Anxiety also is common during the grieving process. However, anxiety can: Last longer than expected Become intense such that it interferes with functioning Include extreme guilt Such disruptive anxiety contributes to a more complicated grief response and can: Make people feel like they are losing control of their emotions. Overwhelming fear is also common. Trigger physical symptoms (anxiety attacks), which might be mistaken for a heart attack.

12 Obstacles in the process of Grieving for Aging Population (cont.) Some older adults may develop unresolved grief or complications associated with grieving. This may occur more often in older adults because they are more likely to experience: Many major losses within a short period of time. The death of their friends, including their spouses. Older adults who lose their spouses may suffer many losses, including financial security, their best friend, and their social contacts. Losses that occur as a part of the natural aging process, such as loss of beauty and physical strength. Loss of their independence or the development of illness and other conditions that are common in older adults. Anticipation of losing someone or something special to them.

13 Aging Population Statics The older population--persons 65 years or older-- numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by Most disturbing among depression statistics is the fact that depression affects upwards of 50 percent of nursing home residents

14 Aging Population Statics When depression occurs in late life, it may be a relapse of an earlier depression. An estimated 6 percent of people ages 65 and older in a given year, or approximately 2 million individuals in this age group, have a diagnosable depressive illness

15 DSM IV vs DSM 5

16 Under the current DSM-IV criteria, the bereaved would have not qualified for depression unless symptoms persisted for longer than 2 months or were characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation. What criteria does a Elderly meet to have moved from Grief and Loss now to depression.

17 What does the DSM 5 say about Grief and Loss Bereavement Exclusion (why) there have never been any adequately-controlled, clinical studies showing that major depressive symptoms following bereavement differ in nature, course, or outcome from depression of equal severity in any other contextor from MDD appearing out of the blue major depression is a potentially lethal disorder, with an overall suicide rate of about 4%.3 Disqualifying a patient from a diagnosis of major depression simply because the clinical picture emerges after the death of a loved one risks closing the door on potentially life-saving treatment.

18 Comprehensive geriatric assessment of psychosocial factors Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) cognitive assessment tool are all in the public domain.

19 Mini–Mental State Examination MSSE can no longer be used the risk of infringement is real. Photocopying or downloading the MMSE probably constitutes infringement. A licensed version of the MMSE can now be purchased from PAR for $1.23 per test. The MMSE form is gradually disappearing from textbooks, Web sites, and clinical tool kits

20 The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) The GDS questions are answered "yes" or "no", instead of a five-category response set. This simplicity enables the scale to be used with ill or moderately cognitively impaired individuals. The scale is commonly used as a routine part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment. One point is assigned to each answer and the cumulative score is rated on a scoring grid. The grid sets a range of 0-9 as "normal", as "mildly depressed", and as "severely depressed".

21 The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)(Short Version) No. Question Answer Score 1. Are you basically satisfied with your life? YES / NO 2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests? YES / NO 3. Do you feel that your life is empty? YES / NO 4. Do you often get bored? YES / NO 5. Are you in good spirits most of the time? YES / NO 6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you? YES / NO 7. Do you feel happy most of the time? YES / NO 8. Do you often feel helpless? YES / NO 9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things? YES / NO 10. Do you feel you have more problems with memory than most? YES / NO 11. Do you think it is wonderful to be alive? YES / NO 12. Do you feel pretty worthless the way you are now? YES / NO 13. Do you feel full of energy? YES / NO 14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless? YES / NO 15. Do you think that most people are better off than you are? YES / NO

22 The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was designed as a rapid screening instrument for mild cognitive dysfunction. It assesses different cognitive domains: attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language, visuoconstructional skills, conceptual thinking, calculations, and orientation. Time to administer the MoCA is approximately 10 minutes. The total possible score is 30 points; a score of 26 or above is considered normal.

23 Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) The SLUMS is a 30-point, 11 question screening questionnaire that tests orientation, memory, attention, and executive function, with items such as animal naming, digit span, figure recognition, clock drawing and size differentiation. The maximum score is 30 points, with the point values for correct answers written on the exam for easy scoring. Cut-off scores for dementia or mild neurocognitive impairment are based on the education level of the patient (high school and above or less than high school).

24 Social Worker Roles with the Aging Population

25 Social Work roles with the Aging Population Clinical interventions – They may provide therapy for an elderly client who feels lonely or who is suffering depression or anxiety. Geriatric social workers encourage their clients to pursue stimulating activities, helping to arrange group outings. They can help clients cope with aging by recording life stories and help people say their goodbyes through writing letters, phone calls, videos, etc.

26 Social Work roles with the Aging Population (cont.) Service interventions – Many social workers act as a link between their clients and the numerous public and private programs designed for the aging. Social workers help clients apply for appropriate services. They help sort out any problems in the delivery of these services.

27 Social Work roles with the Elderly Population (cont.) Many geriatric social workers also offer counseling services, which often deal with end-of-life issues, bereavement, and other concerns common to senior citizens

28 Social Work roles with the Elderly Population (cont.) To help older adults remain at home as long as possible, many geriatric social workers work within the home health care setting. These types of social workers often coordinate discharge planning from hospital to home and conduct home visits to ensure the client is safe, healthy, and thriving in their environment. They may help assess when home care is or is not appropriate for the client, help locate in-home assistance services, transportation services, Meal on Wheels, and recommend in-home care tracking technology. Geriatric social workers are trained to recognize normal and abnormal aging patterns. They can suggest when an elderly client needs to see a doctor and can arrange for a visit. With the help of geriatric social workers, some older adults may be able to live in their own home when they would otherwise need nursing home care

29 Healing Process (3 As) Awareness grants permission to acknowledge that indeed a loss has occurred. Acceptance of the loss provides a feeling of gratification, eliminating conflicting feelings that clash because the elder is unsure how to come to terms with the problem. Action allows the elder to move beyond the loss and replace it by putting something back into his/her life.

30 How to help the Aging Population deal with Grief and Loss Giving the person time. Pointing out signs of sadness or changes in behavior. Spending time with the person Show you care!!!!

31 How to help the Aging Population deal with Grief and Loss Talking about the loss. Spending time with the person. Watching for signs of prolonged grieving or depression.

32 Therapeutic Models and Intervention for Grief and Loss

33 Grief Counseling Grief counseling is short term and focuses on helping people work through the grieving process related to a major loss. Grief counseling is also called bereavement counseling, but the term "bereavement" usually is used only when referring to the loss of a person through death.

34 Grief Counseling (cont.) Grief counseling typically has four components: 1.Learning about grief and what to expect when grieving. In grief counseling, people are taught the normal grieving process, including expected feelings and thoughts. They are also taught how to tell the difference between normal grieving and other conditions, such as depression, that can develop from grieving. 2.Expressing feelings. People are encouraged in grief counseling to express all their feelings, whatever they may be. Sometimes people who are having trouble expressing their feelings are encouraged to talk about their loss or to use other means of expressing themselves.

35 Grief Counseling (cont.) Other coping strategies include. Writing Letters about their loss or writing to the lost person Looking at photos and remembering the lost loved one or object, or visiting the grave of a loved one who has died. 3.Establishing new relationships. This component of grief counseling helps people develop a new relationship with the lost person or object. Since memories usually linger for years and can sometimes be troubling, emphasis is placed on learning how to incorporate memories of the past into the present.

36 Grief Counseling (cont.) 4.Developing a new identity.

37 References does-geriatric-social-worker-do does-geriatric-social-worker-do adults-who-are-grieving# bereavement-resource-guide/ bereavement-resource-guide/

38 References loss-of-bereavement.html loss-of-bereavement.html disorder/bereavement-and-dsm-5-one-last-time disorder/bereavement-and-dsm-5-one-last-time Jones and Company Retrieved on 5/17/2014 l


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