Drawing upon life span developmental psychology, social gerontology, and clinical experience I have developed a transtheoretical framework for thinking about what changes are needed in psychological interventions with older adults: the contextual, cohort-based, maturity, specific challenge model (CCMSC; Knight, 1996).
CCMSC is not a specific therapy system but a framework for thinking about the adaptation of any therapy system to work with older adults. In the model, context means that changes in therapy are often related to the social-environmental context of older adults both in the community and more especially within hospital and nursing home settings, rather than to their developmental stage. Cohort differences are based on maturing in a specific historical time period, leading to a focus on generational groups such as Depression-era generation, GI Generation, Baby Boomers, rather than on age groups. Developmental maturation leads to relatively minor changes, such as slowing down and the use of simpler language, but also to the greater emotional complexity and a wealth of life experience upon which to draw. Specific challenges mean that due to the high prevalence of chronic medical problems and neurological disorders, a higher percentage of psychological assessment and therapy is related to medical problems these problems. There is also a higher frequency of grief work and of attention to caregiving issues.
At Therapy by Mindy we have specific values in mind with our assisted living residents.
- Respect: We believe that every person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, equality and compassion.
- Growth: We value innovative change and sustainable growth that will create an attractive environment for older adults.
- Quality of Life: We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment that promotes physical, social and mental well-being.
- Engagement: We are committed to engaging residents, families, community partners and health care providers in the provision of services.
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