After seeing what my mother had to go through to get assistance for her overall quality of life, my interest in the elderly was high. My mother was suffering when she did not have to suffer. Being on a fix income and depending on her children, she was still lacking some important health care that needed to sustain her in her everyday living.
Prior to reaching the age of 65, my mother suffered a stroke, which caused her to retire early, and then by the age of 70, she had a triple by-pass. Thank God for advanced medical technology, our elderly people have a chance to function in life once again. As I was seeking assistance for my mother, there was a lot of red tape I had to encounter. Being in the Counseling program has helped me to understand why I had to go through such red tape in order to get assistance for my mother—the company had to look out for its best interest—legally and ethically.
Before I could get any assistance for my mother, she had to give an “informed consent” to act on her behalf. This is the first step when dealing with an elderly person. He or she must be in their “right” mind to make decisions about what he or she wants concerning their overall well-being. Of course, this is different when he or she is not cognitively functioning. That is why it is so important for family members to have a plan prior to their parents reaching a certain age and before a decline in mental functioning.
After mom gave her informed consent to act on her behalf, then different types of assessments were administered. I cannot recall the names of the assessments, but questions were asked about her health, insurance, quality of life, weight, care, home, etc. These questions were important, because they would determine ‘what type of services’ my mother can have.
A counselor should consider certain ethical and legal issues and concerns (stereotypes, socioeconomic status (SES), biases, long-term and short-term care, caregivers, cultural, religious...
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