An older woman who asked for help with her bio-psycho-spiritual, social, and spiritual needs could negotiate a contract with the institution where I work. At the beginning of the process, I used a bio-psycho-spiritual-social method to identify my client’s issue, and the contract was developed as a result (McInnis-Dittrich, 2020). As a result of our growing working relationship, we could formalize our agreement to work together. An agreement between a caseworker and a customer should involve the following skills: reflecting and recognizing a problem, creating objectives, building a plan of action, assessing progress, and summarizing the contract, as per Runcan (2020).
Maria, a 27-year-old Colombian woman, trying to survive in the world, was one of those people. Maria decided to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a better life because of her miserable working conditions and difficult upbringing in her own country. To get into the nation, she needed to smuggle narcotics, however. Things did not go as planned, and one of her friends died as a result. She finally returned home, but she elected to remain in the United States. My examination of her included a bio-psycho-spiritual-social component. As much as I could throughout our time together, I was committed to learning. I made sure she was relaxed and had faith in me when Maria arrived at the facility. She had a say in the matter, but I made sure she was giving me the truth at all times. I also wanted to know what she was thinking. As a result, I was particularly interested in her responses, behaviours, and expressions. These characteristics might reveal a lot regarding her mood.
The first element I wished to understand was the situation that she was dealing with, how it had impacted her, and what she could do about it. To acquire this data from her, I had to explain her version of the tale. As a result of my investigation, I could deduce that her primary issue was not steady work and a sufficient income. Due to this, Maria was forced to make many bad decisions in her life. One of which was importing narcotics into the U.S. After figuring out what was wrong with her, I sought to determine how she got there. As it turned out, Maria was born into a low-income household and had limited access to a stable upbringing and a quality education.
Once she reached adulthood, she was responsible for providing for her whole household, including her older sister, who became a mother at 17. To make matters worse, she became pregnant with a guy who didn’t care about her. To make ends meet, Maria volunteered herself as a drug smuggler to smuggle illegal substances into the U.S. With her positive outlook; she believes that life in the United States will be better than back home in Canada. Maria has no medical history to speak of. She is physically healthy, which has helped her persevere through the years of hard labour she has put in. She did not have any mental health issues that I could detect. She has a strong sense of self-worth rooted in the values and morals instilled in her by her upbringing. That’s why she raised the money to transport her counterpart’s corpse back home for a funeral.
Her relatives are committed as they have lived together for most of their life; aside from this period, Maria has U.S. Food, housing, clothes, and medicine for her early-onset dementia symptoms are her most basic requirements at this time. Because of the nature of her profession, she didn’t earn a lot of money. She’s still inside the U.S. illegally, making things even more difficult. This will reduce her chances of receiving financial assistance. Maria, in the midst of it all, remains calm and upbeat. She still needs to strive harder and put in more effort. Maria’s physical and mental well-being can be concluded from this evaluation. In the end, she had to return home to remain with her Nice because of her horrible upbringing; if things didn’t improve, she’d have to return home. This is only a single example of many that may be found across the globe.
Maria told us that she sought our help since she contemplated her ageing process. Frequently, people inquired her if she wanted to take advantage of the discount for seniors. Several close friends were either deceased or unwell. It was difficult for her to see her younger cousins since they were all so preoccupied with their affairs and resided hundreds of miles away. She filled her head with a variety of fresh ideas. She was starting to feel disheartened, gloomy, and even a little apprehensive about the situation. Because she was becoming concerned about her impending retirement, she began to place restrictions on her activities (‘Ageing: Exploding the myths’). Advertising to make her “look younger” appears online and on network tv.
Her depressive symptoms were the most concerning thing I saw throughout our conversation. Depression among the elderly is a major public health concern, as per the Psychological Association of America. Depression is a prevalent mental illness among the elderly. Luckily, it may be treated using a wide range of methods. Mild depression and strong subsyndromal symptoms of depression are more common among older persons in the U.S. than in younger populations, although their incidence of major depressive disorder is lower. A gradual rise in the prevalence of depression appears to occur among the next generation of adults, particularly those known as the baby boom generation, who are about to approach middle age. The causes for these alterations are hotly debated and yet unclear. Most older persons have had past experiences of distress and are thus at a heightened hazard of resurgence since depression is a recurring condition (Carpenter, Gatz & Smyer, 2021).
Unsurprisingly, there was also a lot of worry in there. The concern is the most prevalent psychiatric condition among older individuals living in the area, and it is much more widespread than sadness. Sleeplessness and exhaustion may be signs of anxiety or sadness in older persons. Shortness of breath, racing pulse, and trembling are all signs of anxiousness. For example, these symptoms might be mistaken for cardiovascular difficulties, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s infection or unomalies of the hormones. On the other hand, fear is a normal emotional reaction to worries for one’s own or others’ health and safety. One can only make this difference if the concerns of an older person are taken into account throughout the evaluation process.
Even though death’s dread affects us all in various ways, it was evident in her throughout the meeting. Those who suffer from death or dying phobia describe it as a deep sense of unease, worry, or panic. A scholar used the word thanatophobia in a landmark article titled: Reflections for the Times on Death and War in 1915, referring to the dread of death. According to Freud, this conviction in immortality is the root cause. ‘Life is like a story, starting at birth and ending at death,’ the scholar in his journal in 1933. Death is an inevitable aspect of life. As a result, we must accept that death is inevitable to live.
Personality qualities have been linked to how individuals handled stressful situations in the past. For Maria, job-related stress is a major source of anxiety and depression. “Some difficulty or obstruction or impending danger” causes stress because the individual “is hard-pressed to cope with it.” For example, Maria’s typical work-related stresses include being constantly threatened by rivals, a heavy workload, the fear of jail, and disagreements with coworkers. As a consequence of Maria’s work-related stress, she often suffers from poor productivity, absences, and continual concern. Stress may be dealt with in a variety of ways, both directly and indirectly stressors reduction (i.e., minimizing associated stress). Personality qualities have been linked to how individuals handled stressful situations in the past.
Narrow personality traits (such as being pleasant, honest, persistent, and recognizing outstanding performances) are highly regarded in Maria’s character. As a result, as per scholars, character qualities are seen as valuable in their own right. Even though character characteristics lead to good results, she isn’t doing something for the money. Her activities (e.g., working effectively in a team), thinking, and emotions, demonstrate her character qualities (e.g., being thankful for having a better life). Internal variables like a decent education, secure social atmosphere, or financial stability are also considered to have a role in determining a happy and fulfilling life. Strengths like Maria’s are regarded as the building blocks of excellent character.
It was clear that Maria used negative coping mechanisms (NEG), such as withdrawing from social interactions, ruminating on the past, blaming herself, and blaming others (Fuller & Huseth-Zosel, 2021). Three subcategories of effective coping strategies (POS) have been identified to relieve stress. There are three coping strategies in this category: devalue/defend (POS1), self-aggrandizement by correlation with other individuals (i.e. attributing little frustration to Maria than to others), and refusal of guilt, all of which fall under the cognitive coping strategy of reductions (of stress intensity, length of time, or significance). Distraction (POS2), on the other hand, is defined by a desire to avoid stress by concentrating on circumstances and moods that are inconsistent with stress. The four coping mechanisms are using diversion, replacement satisfaction (turning to something good), searching for self-affirmation, and relaxation. Control (POS3) is the third kind of positive coping, and it comprises taking charge of one’s own emotions and stresses (Fuller & Huseth-Zosel, 2021). Predicament control, reflex control, and healthy self-instruction are all forms of coping that go hand in hand, as do other linked coping strategies (i.e., to give herself knowledge and the ability to manage).
Detailed information about the client’s current situation, including abuse and mistreatment, is necessary for the client’s future approach (‘Age/ism’). The true incidence of elder abuse is likely substantially greater than what’s been recorded due to the secrecy and isolation that are so frequent in cases of personal abuse. Every time a case of elder abuse was recorded, researchers at the Nationwide Abuse of Elder Study Incident came up with this number. In addition, fewer than half of the reported instances are true (‘Ageing: Exploding the myths’). As their physical and cognitive abilities deteriorate, the elderly are more likely to be subjected to abuse or neglect because they need others for their fundamental bodily needs. In light of Maria’s employment as a criminal, her coworkers are likely to assault her.
An in-depth description of her job would be extremely helpful in developing future strategies. As a social worker, my job will be to help my client’s life develop and become better (Runcan, 2020). However, there are multiple instances when my professional ethics are breached throughout this procedure. This will create a moral quandary for the working class. Sometimes the consequences might be rather severe. Maria’s heartbreaking narrative may cause me to go above and beyond the call of duty to help her. I would be aiding an illegal immigrant in the process. This means that I’ll be her partner from now on. If I had done this, I would be exceeding my authority and committing a federal offence at the same time. Because of this, I’ll have to reevaluate my professional ethics.
Ageing: Exploding the myths (World Health Organization-1999). (n.d.). http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/1999/WHO_HSC_AHE_99.1.pdf
Age/ism: Age as a category of difference-Chapter 1 in Gerontological Social Work in Action Anti-Oppressive Practice with Older Adults, their Families, and Communities. (n.d.). In Wendy Hulko, Gerontological Social Work in Action Anti-Oppressive Practice with Older Adults, their Families, and Communities I~ ~~~;~!n~~~up.
Carpenter, B. D., Gatz, M., & Smyer, M. A. (2021). Mental health and aging in the 2020s. American Psychologist. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/amp0000873
Fuller, H. R., & Huseth-Zosel, A. (2021). Lessons in resilience: initial coping among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Gerontologist, 61(1), 114-125. https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article-abstract/61/1/114/5951379
McInnis-Dittrich, K. (2020). Social work with older adults: A biopsychosocial approach to assessment and intervention (5th Ed.). New York: Pearson.
Runcan, P. L. (2020). Authenticity in Social Work. Revista de Asistenţă Socială, 19(3), 23-35. https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=942422