Serving the Underserved: Caring for People Who Are Both Old and Mentally Retarded: A Handbook for Caregivers

By Mary C. Howell; Deirdre G. Gavin et al. | Go to book overview

the client's behavior; that is, to record what happens before and after the behavior in question is demonstrated. Sometimes the client's inability to perform serves two functions: first, to get attention from staff, and second, to provide staff with the satisfaction of being needed. This is a subtle symbiotic relationship that is not easily detected and is often overlooked.

The experience of the Kennedy Aging Project makes clear the value of using specially trained psychologists who are attuned to evaluating the subtleties and complications of developmental dysfunctions, exacerbated by the natural effects of aging in clients who are affected by the consequences of time on their ability to perform and relate to their environment.


16
PASTORAL CARE AND THE
ASSESSMENT OF SPIRITUAL NEEDS

Bridget Bearss

At the Kennedy Aging Project we defined wellness through the eyes of those who invited us to share in their journey, who articulated both verbally and non-verbally the experience of being old, of being mentally retarded, and both. The Aging Project had the good fortune to become involved with men and women who are searching for wholeness. Their current experience may be fragmented, diminishing, and in need of people who are not afraid to walk with them through their last years.

Joanne and Maria are good examples. They helped us to define the essential role of spirituality in the assessment utilized by the Aging Project. Maria and Joanne had maintained a thirty-nine

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