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Identity and Relationships: On Understanding Social Work with Older People Suffering from Dementia

Melin Emilsson, Ulla LU (2008) In Journal of Social Work Practice 22(3). p.317-328
Abstract
Many countries in the Western world are facing great challenges posed by an ageing population. Since cognitive impairments and the prevalence of dementia increases with age, we can expect an increasing number of older people in need of care. However, severe problems with such care are already reported by researchers as well as in the mass media. The aim of this paper is to discuss how the identity confusion among older people suffering from dementia might influence relationships and the staff's behaviour, and in that sense, be part of the care problems reported. Three studies carried out between 1993 and 2003 are introduced aimed at illustrating the severe care problems identified. The interaction between the residents and the staff is... (More)
Many countries in the Western world are facing great challenges posed by an ageing population. Since cognitive impairments and the prevalence of dementia increases with age, we can expect an increasing number of older people in need of care. However, severe problems with such care are already reported by researchers as well as in the mass media. The aim of this paper is to discuss how the identity confusion among older people suffering from dementia might influence relationships and the staff's behaviour, and in that sense, be part of the care problems reported. Three studies carried out between 1993 and 2003 are introduced aimed at illustrating the severe care problems identified. The interaction between the residents and the staff is focused on and discussed from a psychodynamic viewpoint. Data show that the caregivers also become confused and express a need of affirmation comparable with that of the older people suffering from dementia. That is, even the caregivers' behaviour seems to be influenced by an identity-preserving ambition similar to the one of the dementia sufferers, and this might explain some of the problems in this form of care. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Social Work Practice
volume
22
issue
3
pages
317 - 328
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000260326400005
  • scopus:54949085456
ISSN
0265-0533
DOI
10.1080/02650530802396650
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0d043618-890a-4f72-b9d3-d834b0834216 (old id 1031870)
date added to LUP
2009-07-09 10:22:20
date last changed
2017-05-21 03:40:33
@article{0d043618-890a-4f72-b9d3-d834b0834216,
  abstract     = {Many countries in the Western world are facing great challenges posed by an ageing population. Since cognitive impairments and the prevalence of dementia increases with age, we can expect an increasing number of older people in need of care. However, severe problems with such care are already reported by researchers as well as in the mass media. The aim of this paper is to discuss how the identity confusion among older people suffering from dementia might influence relationships and the staff's behaviour, and in that sense, be part of the care problems reported. Three studies carried out between 1993 and 2003 are introduced aimed at illustrating the severe care problems identified. The interaction between the residents and the staff is focused on and discussed from a psychodynamic viewpoint. Data show that the caregivers also become confused and express a need of affirmation comparable with that of the older people suffering from dementia. That is, even the caregivers' behaviour seems to be influenced by an identity-preserving ambition similar to the one of the dementia sufferers, and this might explain some of the problems in this form of care.},
  author       = {Melin Emilsson, Ulla},
  issn         = {0265-0533},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {317--328},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Journal of Social Work Practice},
  title        = {Identity and Relationships: On Understanding Social Work with Older People Suffering from Dementia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02650530802396650},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2008},
}