Skip to main content

Paranoia and an Older Adult Teaching Module

This teaching video illustrates an initial screening with an older adult who shows symptoms of paranoia, fear, and anxiety. The video is divided into three sections: Interview; the PRIME MD screen for anxiety; and the Mini-Cog. The interview with the client shows that persistence in engagement is especially necessary to begin the social work screening and assessment process with individuals who have paranoid ideation, as older adults with paranoid symptoms are almost always involuntary clients. The social worker shows active listening skills and the ability to determine the nature of the client’s delusions to begin to understand areas of possible need. 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

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

Paranoia and an Older Adult - video

This video illustrates an initial screening with an older adult who shows symptoms of paranoia and anxiety. The client lives in an apartment building and several neighbors have called the social work office with concerns about an older person on their floor who refuses to leave the apartment and who seems to be up through the night talking and making noise. The social worker has come to the door several times without meeting the client. On previous visits, the social worker has told the client that she is interested in meeting the client and in helping with any problems or concerns. The client responded that she was uneasy in letting anyone into the apartment. The social worker has left a business card under the door with each previous visit. This is the first time the client has opened the door and allowed the social worker to come in. The video is divided into three sections: Interview; the PRIME MD screen for anxiety; and the Mini-cog .

Duration: 421 seconds