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We all recognize that loss has a significant impact on mood, but what is less attended to is the fact that loss also disrupts fundamental patterns of living. For example, Mrs. Johnson, who has recently lost her husband, has spent forty years with him. During this time she has developed, and stored, thousands of patterns of behavior. These programs allowed her and Mr. Johnson to accomplish the tasks of daily living. The patterns ranged from mundane routines such as going grocery shopping and cleaning the house, to more profound patterns such as solving problems together, coping with the challenges of life, and interchanges of intimacy.

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Not all relationship problems result from unhealthy patterns of interaction

The Avoider Mentality and the Fear of Intimacy | Light …

Chronic alcohol consumption leads to medical and psychological problems. For example, excess alcohol consumption is linked to malnutrition, because heavy drinkers seldom eat a balanced diet. Chronic consumption of alcohol also decreases the ability of the stomach to absorb nutrients. Another alcohol‑related problem is osteomalacia, or thinning of the bones. Over time, drinking results in cirrhosis of the liver, which is now one of the eight leading causes of death in older adults.

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Even though the elderly are at highest risk for drug misuse and abuse, the problem is chronically under-diagnosed. Although it is not well known to the public, alcohol-related problems in the elderly cause as many deaths as heart attacks.


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Family members sometimes express their concern and anxiety as anger. When this happens, it is very important that you do not internalize a family member’s anger. This simply means that you don’t take their anger personally. Instead, validate their anger and offer solutions. Be responsive, not reactive. Instead of getting angry, say, “I can hear that you are very upset. I understand. Let’s see what we can do to solve the problem.”

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The presence of a personality disorder is a common reason for referral to a long-term care facility. For this reason, many people in long-term care may be volatile, difficult people who are also struggling with medical problems and cognitive changes. This presents a challenge for staff and administrators, many of whom know nothing about personality disorders and therefore may actually exacerbate problems. There is a great need for mental health professionals to provide intervention and education in this treatment setting.

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Another barrier to medicating pain is the unrealistic fear of addiction. Despite an abundance of evidence that narcotic drugs do not cause addiction in pain patients, many health care professionals persist in believing that addiction is a problem.

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The elderly are often viewed as poor treatment risks because society sees them as physically, mentally, and economically unstable. However, successful treatment and recovery are highly possible for this population if intervention and treatment are positive and get to the root of their problems. During intervention and treatment, it is important to build social support networks for the elderly. Programs that reinforce skills and focus on reducing isolation decrease the risk of relapse. Involving spouses and other family members in the treatment process will educate everyone about the effects of chemical dependency on the older person, and its effects on family relationships.

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A person’s is the point at which a stimulus is perceived as painful. Many caregiving professionals mistakenly believe that everyone perceives pain the same. In addition, over time, seasoned health-care workers often develop their own conclusions about the range of expected pain responses for certain situations. This can cause problems because a patient who experiences more pain than expected with a certain treatment, diagnostic procedure, or in a postoperative recovery period can become labeled as “exaggerating” his pain.