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Anxiety and an Older Adult Teaching Module

This teaching video, which illustrates an initial screening for anxiety with an older woman, is divided into three sections: Interview; the PRIME MD, a new social work tool used by the VA to screen for depression or anxiety; and the MINI–Cog. The client symptoms of agitation, somatic complaints, sleep difficulty, anxiety, and depression are explored. The interview with the older woman illustrates the importance of skillful questioning and supportive responses to sort out a number of issues: somatic complaints, distressed and anxious mood, frustration, and a changing social context that has increased isolation and feelings of loneliness. Teaching points, evaluation tools, discussion questions, and resources are offered. A script of the video is provided.

Advanced Competencies Addressed in This Module: 

  1. Ability to engage, maintain rapport, and sustain effective working relationships with a wide range of older adults including those with behavior problems, mental illness, or dementia.
  2. Understanding of how to conduct a geriatric assessment of psychosocial factors.
  3. Understanding of how to conduct differential mental health diagnosis regarding depression using diagnostic tools that are appropriate for use with older adults.
  4. Application of concepts, theories, and research of biological, psychological, and social aging to social work assessment and intervention.
  5. Understanding of the effects and interactions of multiple chronic conditions, medication, nutrition, and sudden or ongoing causes of changes in cognitive states and functional capacity.
  6. Ability to relate social work perspectives and theories to practice with older adults (e.g., person-in-environment).
 
 

More On This

Anxiety and an Older Adult Interview Script
 
Anxiety and an Older Adult Instructor's Guide

Anxiety and an Older Adult - Video

This video illustrates an initial screening for anxiety with an older woman. The client lives in an apartment building for older people and has been there for over ten years. Within the past month, she has called the social work office and asked for transportation to visit her doctor at least twice a week. She has called the social work office to ask for help in scheduling appointment since she says, “the receptionist won’t let me see the doctor anymore.” The social worker has come to the client’s apartment to learn more about her and her situation. The client has experiences a series of social losses and now is experiencing somatic problems including chest pain, heart palpitations and shortness of breath. She appears flustered and upset and is focused on her health complaints. The video is divided into three sections: Interview; the PRIME MD screens for depression and for anxiety and the MINI –Cog

Duration: 900 seconds