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Journal of Aging and Long-Term Care: 2 (1)
Volume: 2  Issue: 1 - 2019
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GENERAL COMMENTARY
1.Animal-assisted interventions: Social work practice for older adults with dementia
Yvonne M Eaton-Stull, Adelle M Williams
doi: 10.5505/jaltc.2019.21939  Pages 1 - 11
Many older persons experience neurocognitive impairments as they age, experiencing cognitive and behavioral symptoms which may cause serious disruptions and lead to residential placements. As there is no cure, these care facilities strive to manage symptoms and provide comfortable and supportive care. Numerous therapeutic approaches have been used to manage cognitive and behavioral disturbances in older persons with dementia with mixed success. Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) are emerging as an innovative therapeutic modality which holds benefit for minimizing distressing behaviors experienced by older persons. Human-animal contact has been shown to positively benefit the quality of life of older adults. Specific research on the use of AAI in social work practice is limited. An exhaustive review of the literature was conducted to summarize relevant research, identify the practice of AAI, and determine implications for social work practitioners who work to enhance the lives of older adults in various settings. This unique article integrates these benefits as they relate to older people with dementia and aims to provide concrete strategies for implementation of animal-assisted interventions.

2.C.A.R.E.: A model for improving the process of assessment
Sara J English, Andrew J Flaherty
doi: 10.5505/jaltc.2019.37039  Pages 13 - 20
Assumptions, perceptions, and expectations (APEs) determine how individuals view the social world and the people who live within. This is especially true if persons do not share the same cultural experiences or beliefs of other individuals. Health care workers serve a variety of individuals from a multitude of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Although workers are charged with developing individualized plans of care to address the multiple disadvantages and unique needs experienced by persons who admit for healthcare service, APEs held by the worker moderate the clustering of disadvantage experienced by clients within the social environment, further separating them from those who make determinations of, and decisions about, care. Although factors connected to vulnerability or disadvantage may affect the well-being and outcomes of clients, the process of othering, either implicit or explicit, creates and maintains a state of inequity, documented through assessments, care plans, and other formal artifacts of service. This paper uses a critical lens to review how APEs intersect with the existing processes and procedures of assessment, affirming and enhancing clusterings of disadvantage and social injustices experienced by clients, creating corrosive and reified states of chronic disadvantage that lead to poor and pervasive patterns of outcomes for vulnerable persons relegated to the category of the other and proposes a model of C.A.R.E. to improve outcomes during the assessment process.

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