Sample Only Assignment: Apply Theory in Family-Level Intervention

Assignment: Assessment of Older Adults

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For this week’s assignment, you will use the format of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) as a framework for assessing the experiences of people who are at least 70-years-old today. The idea is that you are writing up the results of an assessment that could be relevant for
anyone who falls into this age category based on your own research. You are
not to assess or diagnose a specific person. Rather than having a specific person as a client for this assessment think of this generation as your client. You will not be gathering information on an individual through a clinical interview, you will gather information on this generation through research (internet, library, books, newspapers, etc.). While you are not assessing an individual person, you may use people in this age range as sources of information. As you work through the different elements of the CGA, keep in mind that the intersectional nature of diversity plays a role in all of these elements. As a reminder, diversity is understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors, including but not limited to, age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status. Be certain to refer to these elements of diversity in your response.

Your research and written assessment must, at the very least, include these categories of information, though the component of the CGA should serve as your guide:

· Background – both historical and present on the researched generation

· Functional Factors

· Health Issues

· Emotional Well-being

Examples of the types of information you will want to gather for this assessment:cial, Economic, and Environmental well-being

historical background information: Conduct research on major events, societal norms, and trends that most people age 70 or over would have experienced. For instance, what were the usual roles for men and women in the 1950s? How did that change in the 1960s? What was it like to experience the gas crisis of the 1970s?

present background information: How do most people in this age category live today? Where do they live- at home? In nursing homes? In assisted living? What are cultural conventions for care of older people in the US? Are there cultural differences in the way older people live?

health issues: What are the most common health issues suffered by people in this age group? What are the co-morbidities of these issues? What are treatments for these issues? Are there side effects to these treatments that impact health status? Describe how you might collaborate with providers from other disciplines to assure your assessment is complete?

Submit the results of your research in a 4-6 paper based on the format of the CGA.

support your assignment with at least three scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including seminal articles, may be included.

Length: 4-6 pages, not including title and reference pages

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the Course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)

Understanding the psychology of aging will help you to build effective relationships with the older adults. Consider the following as you complete assessments with older adults: 

The brain loses about 10 to 15 percent of its weight during the normal process of aging, which can affect blood flow, possibly resulting in neuron and memory loss.

The aging senses

-Vision: increased potential for decreased vision especially for distance, difficulty seeing dim lights, and loss of peripheral vision

-Hearing: slow but steady decline in hearing

-Taste: some change for some people

-Smell: some loss of ability to smell in some people

-Touch: reduced sensitivity to touch for some people, especially with an increase in pain threshold

Intellectual changes

-IQ tends to remain stable throughout a person’s life.

-Some individuals will experience declining sensory functioning, which is associated with intellectual functioning.

Stimulation and cognitive decline

-Exercising the brain can preserve intellectual functioning; crossword puzzles, sudoku, scrabble, and chess are great examples. 

Reaction time

-Some will experience a decrease in reaction times, such as when they drive a car. 


-Continues without significant decline


-When attention is divided between two or more stimuli, older adults often do not perform as well. Anxiety may contribute to this decline. 

Organizational Skills

-Perform less well on abstract reasoning 


-Some people will have a decline in creativity as they age.


-Some older adults experience decline in short-term memory, especially if more demands are placed on the person.

-Long-term memory shows significant decline as people age.


-Both men and women become more introverted as they age.

-Older people are less likely to experience wide mood swings – changes are more often due to changes in the nervous system.

-Most personality traits remain unchanged as people age unless they experience major health changes.

-Different cultures have different attitudes about aging and death and how to respect elders.


-Forced retirement has a significant impact on peoples’ well-being, especially if they wanted to continue the work they were doing.

-Most people who retire voluntarily are apprehensive and experience some loss of self-esteem, but these feelings dissipate fairly quickly for many.


-Reaction to loss depends upon the degree to which it is anticipated.

-The intensity of the reaction to a loss is strongly related to how much the person was dependent upon the deceased.

-Bereavement is cyclical and occurs over time.

Marriage and family life

-Less marital discord

-More satisfying times, similar goals, more pleasurable activities, fewer disagreements

Mental health issues

-Greater risk of cognitive impairment

-Specific event depression symptoms occur more frequently

-Mental health issues are worse when people have major health or physical challenges

-Suicidal ideation increases for people over 75, especially men

-Mood disorders develop less often in seniors

Most common anxiety is fear of open spaces or leaving home

-Substance abuse increases in seniors and this combined with medications is dangerous

In working with older adults, you must be able to assess for suicide risk, depression, substance abuse, dementia, and most importantly, grief and loss. Much of your work will help older clients to adjust to life’s changes and the losses associated with them. Review the ways to assess suicide risk, how depression manifests in older adults, the various forms of dementia, substance abuse assessment, and losses they have experienced. 

Working with older clients in a group setting is preferable to working with them individually. They learn from others and are more open to sharing their issues in a group setting. The diversity of experiences and cultural influences will enhance their ability to learn new ways of coping with issues. 

Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.


Identifying Geriatric Patients at Risk for Suicide and Depression

Hall, R. C. W., Hall, R. C. W., & Chapman, M. J. (2003). Identifying geriatric patients at risk for suicide and depression.
Clinical Geriatrics. 11(10). 36-44.


Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Alcohol Disorders in the Elderly: Social Work Collaboration in Primary Care

Rinfrette, E. S. (2009, February 6). Treatment of anxiety, depression, and alcohol disorders in the elderly: Social work collaboration in primary care.
Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work 6(1). 79.91.

· 2-

Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Alcohol Disorders in the Elderly: Social Work Collaboration in Primary Care

Rinfrette, E. S. (2009, February 6). Treatment of anxiety, depression, and alcohol disorders in the elderly: Social work collaboration in primary care.
Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work 6(1). 79.91.

NLP Representational System Preference Test

A major NLP discovery is that people process the world in mostly one or more primary senses.

You’ve probably heard people say things like “I
see what you mean,” or “I
hear you.” These are not just cute euphemisms, but insights into
how that person’s mind is working.

Once you know someone’s
primary representational system, you can speak in a way that’s pleasing to- and gains rapport with their unconscious mind.

Learn your own primary representational system by answering each of the following statements. Place a number next to
every phrase. Use the following system to indicate your preferences:

4 =
Closest to describing you
3 = Next best description
2 = Next least descriptive
1 =
Least descriptive of you

Top of Form

1. I make important decisions based on:
gut level feelings
which way sounds the best
what looks best to me
precise review and study of the issues
2. During an argument, I am most likely to be influenced by:
the other person’s tone of voice
whether or not I can see the other person’s point of view
the logic of the other person’s argument
whether or not I am in touch with the other person’s true feelings
3. I most easily communicate what is going on with me by:
the way I dress and look
the feelings I share
the words I choose
my tone of voice
4. It is easiest for me to:
find the ideal volume and tuning on a stereo system
select the most intellectually relevant point in an interesting subject
select the most comfortable furniture
select rich, attractive color combinations
5. Select the most accurate:
I am very attuned to the sounds of my surroundings
I am very adept at making sense of new facts and data
I am very sensitive to the way articles of clothing feel on my body
I have a strong response to colors and to the way a room looks

Bottom of Form

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