Therefore, understanding of the differences that distinguish the elderly from the younger patients has turned vital in the modern care practices. While many of the differences relate to pharmacological and biological changes associated with aging, the psychological aspect of geriatric care can hardly be neglected too. Knowledge of the basic psychological characteristics of elder patients can contribute seriously to the provision of optimal geriatric care (Lyness, 2004).
Over the last two decades, the role of professional psychological services involving elder patients has been increasing. Thus, while in 1986 psychological practice in nursing homes was almost non-existent, after only ten years psychological services became very common in those institutions. Simultaneously, practitioners and researchers started to accumulated specific knowledge related to the unique principles of psychological care of older adults (APA, 2003). The existing data in the field of geriatric care allows identifying the basic psychological principles and concepts understanding of which is critically important for care professionals to be effective in their work with elder patients.
Elder patients have in common a special sensitivity to the psychological quality of care provided by health professionals. ...Show more