This paper is based on the last developmental stage, that of older adults (or the elderly) aged 65 years and above. The paper holds that various mental health problems are likely to be faced at the late adulthood stage. It derives relevant information from researches that provide a comparison to what has been encountered in the case study…
The case study involves an elderly widow, Mrs. G aged 88 years and living with her daughter. The daughter is also a single mother of three children aged 2 to 10 years. The family lives in a 3-bedroomed house in a very busy street. Mrs. G’s daughter is employed, working 12 hours daily for six day a week. The elderly woman has dementia and impaired vision. She also suffers back curvature and occasional gait. She has difficulty in swallowing, decreased appetite, and loss of weight. The widow keeps talking about her late husband who died approximately five years ago.
3. Changes experienced at old age
Old adult age falls in Erikson’s psychosocial stage 8, a stage that is mainly characterized by back reflection in life. The developmental stage involves a feeling of despair and bitterness for those who have been unsuccessful and feelings of integrity for those who have successful life accomplishments (Cherry, 2012, p.3).
Individuals experience various physical, cognitive, and psychosocial changes as they transition into older adult stage. Mental inability is a common condition at this stage of development and its roots are often traced from the changes in the brain that occur at earlier stages (O’Brien, 2012). The individuals lose concentration and their attention can be attracted to very petty events. According to Dr. Cheryl Grady, a senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest, there is a significant difference between the concentration abilities in old and young people and the difference can be explained by some brain mechanism (O’Brien, 2012). The biological/physiological changes experienced in the body explain the other physical changes like visual and hearing impairment. These conditions are observed in the case study. Much of these physical and psychosocial changes have been observed in the elderly widow. She suffers from dementia. Mrs. G is also visually impaired and suffers back curvature and gait. She is highly distracted by the memories of her late husband. 4. Health promotion and prevention for the old adults Health assessment is necessary in the prevention of occurrence or further complications of health problems, especially for the old adults with chronic illnesses. Caring for these elderly people requires an understanding of the characteristic symptoms of mental disorders like dementia. To identify dementia, the care providers need to observe the cognitive impairment in these individuals including noncompliance and inability to follow certain directions. One of the key symptoms of this disorder is inability to think properly and carry out daily routines like eating, bathing, or dressing. They may also experience personality loss and inability to control their emotions. This condition may be managed to some extent through drugs, which do not treat the mental disorder, but slows it down and ...
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