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In this task we are required to complete an assignment about a case study of an adult in our care, using information from at least one specified development theorist as well as three psychological needs of the client. The objectives of this assignment will be:
● We will be discussing the background information about the person and the method we used to gather information.
● We will also identify that person’s age related needs referring to the theorist we have chosen
● We will provide strategies for meeting their needs (i.e.) what could the family, community or agencies do to help meet their needs
● We will address what are the important interpersonal skills to have when working with a person of that age
● We will discuss the likely effects of this person not having their identified development needs met
Human Growth Development Assignment
Behavior Observation of an older person
The case study
Glenda is 78 years old and lives with her daughter Lisa and 2 grandchildren (Tracy who is 18 and Maya 13 years old) in Donegal. Until recently, Glenda was active, full of energy, independent and successful lady regardless of her age; she was regularly attending her local church and heavily involved in the charity works in her community. 5 months ago, Glenda suffered a major stroke which affected her right arm and leg. She was quickly admitted to hospital and given emergency treatment and specialist care which may have saved her life. After spending 3 months in hospital, desperate to get back to her home and spend time with her daughter and grandchildren, Glenda was so frustrated and she did not want to communicate with people around her. Life was not the same for Glenda as she was unable to stand or walk without assistance, do her work regularly like before and definitely not able to meet her own needs. Her thought process was often focused on her fear of not getting back to her normal life; this led her to depression and anxiety.
However, with the support of her daughter and the services of the Good Care Group of which her daughter has enlisted to help her, Glenda was convinced with the care team and was determined to get her ordinary life back. A comprehensive assessment was conducted by the care team and worked with the Occupational Therapists to ensure that Glenda’s house had the adaptations and equipment she required for her recovery and a specialist stroke recovery carer was provided. They work with the physiotherapist each day to support Glenda with her exercise program, which is helping her to rebuild her strength, and confidence.
Six weeks after coming home from hospital, and Glenda is able walk, slowly, but unaccompanied again even though her mobility is slow and she is occasionally unbalanced. She is now feeling more confident in herself and she has made fantastic progress in her recovery, enabled by the commitment and expertise of her professional care team.
Meeting the needs of the older people
Looking on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he suggests that people are motivated to meet their basic needs before moving on to other more advanced needs which are Physiological, Safety, Love and belongingness needs, Esteem, Self-Actualization needs. He also explains that the satisfaction of needs influences the personality which is a bit different from Erikson psychosocial development of the older people.
So, how does it work in the Glenda’s case study? What are the needs that Glenda has met before stroke or needs to meet after stroke and which are not met?
Looking on Glenda’s needs as per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:
People who, to a greater or lesser degree, are struggling to cope are included in physical problems. This will result in physical needs such as washing, dressing, eating, drinking, swallowing, walking and mobilizing.
Before the stroke Glenda was able to fulfil her physical needs by herself without any help but before the stroke Glenda was able to fulfill her needs by herself without any help, but when she had the stroke, she started to depend on her daughter and the care team for assistance in order to meet her physical needs. According to Maslow if these needs are not met, the human body cannot function in the best way.
Maslow stated that for a person to meet all their needs, the lower stages need to be satisfied before moving to the higher needs in order to reach the potential or self-actualization. The stroke has brought negative emotional effects in Glenda’s life such as anxiety, sadness, frustration, anger, and a sense of loss for the changes she has experienced after stroke. For Glenda to meet her emotional needs, the care team has instore a psychological treatment and a new lifestyle that will help Glenda succeed with her recovery.
After the death of her husband Glenda has spent most of her time doing charity work in the community, spending time with friends in the church
Glenda’s social life has been affected by stroke as she could not be involved in the community activities. In order to meet these needs, Glenda’s daughter has arranged a support group and more social interaction to help her feel connected to other people to ease depression and isolation.
Being a devout catholic Glenda had her own spiritual values and beliefs of her traditional religious practices. Her spiritual needs were met before the stroke as she was attending her local church regularly but with effect of stroke, it was practically difficult for her to meet her spiritual needs. To help her meet that needs, her daughter had arranged with the local priest for mass and Holy Communion regularly at her house.
Psychological problems range from daily concerns that people are unable to deal with to serious mental illnesses. Glenda needs to feel loved and belonged to people around her in order to meet her psychological needs
Background Information of the client
The method used to collect Glenda’s background information is the primary research whereby we have done interviews with her daughter and people from the community who knows her.
Her full name is Glenda Walsh, 78 years old Irish woman from Letterkenny but moved to Donegal to stay with her daughter when her husband died. Born in a family of three, one boy and two girls she is the eldest of the family, her two siblings moved to UK 32 years ago. After the death of her husband, Glenda spend most of her time doing charity work in the community
Identification of age related needs
Erikson’s theory describes life span in eight stages of development, while Maslow’s suggests seven needs which are required for a person to reach the potential.
Maslow’s theory of needs provides insights into the basics that humans need to progress in life. During an individual life span, a series of age-related changes experiences is known as development. The developments of the acquisition series are called stages. Erickson’s psychosocial theory is based on three assumptions for the stages of development. These series include step by step transition in a specific order, according to age, and the contribution of culture. Looking into Erikson’s theory on Integrity vs Despair, Glenda has reached a point where she should contemplate her achievements and develop her integrity if she sees herself leading a successful life but the stroke has affected her to the point that her life declined and could not meet all her needs by herself. Erikson believed that if we considered our lives unproductive, guilty of our past, or felt that we had not achieved our life goals, we became dissatisfied with life and developed despair, often leading to depression and despair. But with the assistance of the care team and her daughter Lisa, Glenda has made a positive progress in meeting her needs. She has come to find meaning in life that is important to her and live an integrity life(Simplypsychology.org)
Strategies for meeting clients’ needs
Lisa as the only family member who lives with her, she plays a vital role in Glenda’s recovery after a stroke. She should encourage participation in outpatient therapies and should provide care team with valuable information about progress. Also she should serve as an indicator of Glenda’s mood, assess whether Glenda is becoming reserved or depressed. Ongoing encouragement from her and care team can play a key role in a successful rehabilitation process
(Care Quality Commission, 2011, p17)
Social services in community should be able to provide Glenda with reduced mobility advice for appropriate services such as sports, recreation, culture, training and volunteering. A support group could also help Glenda reduce the risk of another stroke, for example by ensuring she gets the right medications and the right controls (Care Quality Commission, 2011, p15)
As mentioned above in the community, IWA should provide a range of services that will enable Glenda meet her social needs in her house or the community. for example, access on wheelchair, the service that facilitate access to various activities. This to allow the Glenda exercise maximum control over how the service is organized (Iwa, 2008, p19)
With the client Caring for a person who suffered stroke may be difficult because the person may find it difficult to communicate with you due to their physical health problem. Using a non-judgmental skill because of her illness and an effective communication when assisting Glenda will have a positive impact on her recovery. Judging Glenda will have a negative impact on her and she might feel not accepted and won’t feel comfortable to communicate and work for her recovery (Nifast, 2013, p14)
With the family
Family constantly looks for advice from the carer, information and reassurance during this difficult period. Using an effective verbal communication with family when creating the care plan will help improve Glenda’s care because they know the client better and always be available to answer any questions or respond to any concerns that may rise (Nifast, 2013, p14)
With multidisciplinary team
Using an effective coordination skill to ensure success in helping Glenda to recover because multidisciplinary team uses the skills and experience of all team member to get the job done. Active listening and negotiation skill are also important to use as they will enable Glenda to reach a compromise in a difficult situation.
Effects of client not having their developmental needs met
Erikson suggests that if crises are not resolved positively at particular moments in life, problems will follow later meanwhile Maslow in his theory the central point is the self-actualization , which says that behavior and learning are motivated by a hierarchy of needs.(Eva, E., 2011, p107-109)
Looking on Erikson theory stage 8 if Glenda’s needs are not met at this stage, this will make her reflect upon his/her experiences and failures and she will fail to find the purpose of living. Before stroke she could meet all her needs regardless of her age but after stroke when her natural physical and emotional needs are not met in the environment, or when her resources are used incorrectly, unconsciously, she will experience considerable distress and this will affect her mental health.
Recommendation for promoting holistic development
To promote Glenda’s holistic development of needs we will recommend the health and social service professionals to work in collaboration to ensure that an assessment of social services is conducted regularly. This by identifying the current needs of Glenda and her family or caregiver, for example, access to benefits, care needs, housing, community involvement, transportation and access to voluntary services, health screening, health promotion, medical review by using standard assessment and behavioral observation for functional tasks such as mobility, dressing, eating. Also they should provide training in care to the family members who are willing to support and assist Glenda. By doing all these things, the care team will help Glenda to reach the top of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (self-actualization) and lives an integrity life.
Looking back into this assignment, we have drafted a case study about meeting the needs of an older person by using information from a development theorist and we have identified three psychological needs by discussing the background information about the person and the method used to gather information, by identifying the person’s age-related needs, by providing the strategies for meeting the client’s needs, by addressing the important skills to have when assisting the client and by discussing the effects of the person not having their identified development needs met.
- Simplypsychology.org, Identification of age related needs, available at https://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html viewed on 03 May 2018
- Explorepsychology.com, Strategies for meeting client’s needs, available at
- https://www.explorepsychology.com/maslows-hierarchy-of-needs/ viewed on 2019
- Care Quality Commission, 2011, Supporting life after stroke, UK: Care Quality Commission
- Eva, E., 2011, Introduction to early Childhood, USA: Belmont
- Nifast, 2013, Care Skills and Care Support, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan
- Iwa, 2008, A Strategy for the Future, Dublin: Iwa
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