Skip to main content

Psychotic Disorders and Older Adults Teaching Module

This teaching module contains PowerPoint slides with teaching notes, a teaching script, and additional resource materials that include information related to DSM-IV class psychotic disorders that constitute a significant distortion in the perception of reality with recurrent episodic or persistent features. The module offers information on demographics related to prevalence and incidence, DSM-IV classification for psychotic disorders, schizophrenic subtypes, schizoaffective disorder subtypes of bipolar and depressive types, delusional disorders, substance-induced psychotic disorders, differential diagnosis, schizophrenia symptoms, gender and age differences, family patterns, and religiosity themes. Also includes evidence-based treatments such as behavioral therapy, compliance therapy, psychoeducational interventions, life course issues to consider in psychosocial treatment, trade-offs in treatment options, medical treatment, substance abuse considerations, psychosocial rehabilitation programs (PRP), and issues for caregivers of aging parents with psychotic disorders. An extensive bibliography is included.

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  • Engaging, maintaining rapport, and sustaining effective working relationships with a wide range of older adults (including those with behavior problems, mental illness, and dementia), their families, and caregivers
  • Ability to conduct differential mental health diagnosis regarding dementia, delirium, and depression with the interdisciplinary team and to use appropriate diagnostic tools with older adults (e.g., depression scale, Mini-Mental Status Exam)
  • Designing and implementing service plans to help older people and their families manage/improve functioning with cognitive loss or mental health problems (e.g., depression, dementia, and delirium), health issues, and/or physical functioning
  • Applying social work ethical principles to decisions on behalf of all older adult clients with special attention to those who have limited decisional capacity including:

(a) complex situations in which self-determination and dignity are challenged or inconsistent with  safety and legal concerns
(b) reporting and intervening with elder mistreatment such as neglect and abuse

  • Provision of comprehensive geriatric social work case management to link elders and their families to resources and services to assist them with multifaceted problems and provide long-term care planning
  • Ability to utilize family interventions with older adults and their families (e.g., promote safety, restore relationships) in order to assist caregivers to reduce their stress levels, maintain their own mental and physical health, and promote better care of the elder