Published at 13 septembrie 2022 | Reading time: 4 min.

The role of the psychologist within Vitalitas elderly care

What is the role of the clinical psychologist in the relationship with the elders at Vitalitas center?

The work of the clinical psychologist can be explained in three steps:

1. Assessment

2. Counseling

3. Mediation

In an elderly care center, the work of the psychologist is complementary to that of the doctor. Beyond physical health issues, treatments, procedures and necessary medical interventions, every resident needs emotional well-being. The psychologist carries out cognitive-behavioral and emotional assessments of each resident from day one, in order to monitor their progress on an ongoing basis. Elders first and foremost need to be listened to, their overall condition depends on their self-esteem, sense of self-worth and self-importance which must be supported. They are at the age when they are faced with the fear of loneliness, uselessness, abandonment, helplessness, and death. This is where the psychologist comes in, as follows:

Individual counseling. The psychologist carries out daily visits and interviews, followed by a plan of individual sessions at the office. In the case of mobility difficulties or immobility, the psychologist adapts and provides emotional support at the resident's bedside. The psychologist is a detective who first observes, then communicates and draws conclusions that he discusses with the doctor, nurses and administrative staff. The patient's non-medical needs are identified by the psychologist.

Group The work of the clinical psychologist can be explained in 3 steps that he does with each resident:

1. Assess.

2. Counsel.

3. Mediate.

In a care centre, the work of the psychologist is complementary to that of the doctor. Beyond physical health issues, treatments, procedures and necessary medical interventions, every resident in care needs emotional well-being. The psychologist carries out cognitive-behavioural and emotional assessments of each resident from day one, in order to monitor their progress on an ongoing basis. Seniors first and foremost need to be listened to, their overall condition depends on their self-esteem, sense of self-worth and self-importance which must necessarily be sustained. They are at the age when they are faced with the fear of loneliness, uselessness, abandonment, helplessness, death. This is where the psychologist comes in, through 2 courses of action:

Individual counselling. The psychologist carries out daily visits and interviews, followed by a plan of individual sessions at the office. In the case of mobility difficulties or immobility, the psychologist adapts and provides emotional support at the resident's bedside. The psychologist is a detective who first observes, then communicates and draws conclusions which he discusses with the doctor, care and administrative staff. The patient's non-medical needs are identified by the psychologist.

Group counseling. The psychologist schedules weekly meetings and residents are encouraged to interact and develop a sense of integration into a community. Sharing life experiences, knowledge, feelings is an effective form of therapy and develops a healthy attachment to the new home. Each meeting has a theme from the area of personal development: acceptance, forgiveness, joy, gratitude, faith, communication, etc. The mental balance of seniors depends on belonging to a community in which they can find their selves.

The psychologist thus mediates relations between residents and between residents and other staff members.

In addition, the psychologist plays a major role in communication with the families. Often family members are in delicate emotional situations that require psychological support. In addition, the family needs to be informed of any cognitive, emotional or behavioral changes of the resident.

Mental health is the responsibility of the psychologist, who also has a regulatory role within the system. The psychologist identifies the resident's needs, continuously observes and assesses their general condition, complements the doctor's work, counsels, communicates continuously with the staff and family, provides emotional support to caregivers, and contributes to creating a harmonious environment in which every elder feels they come first.

The article was written by:

ROXANA PĂNOIU

Supervising clinical psychologist and nurse experienced in palliative care

All the information presented on the website is for information purposes only, the decisions of acceptance in the elderly care centre are made after evaluation of each application by the evaluation committee. The services presented are for information only, and may vary from the services contracted by each resident.

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