• Resources

What Are Geropsychologists, and Why Should You Care?

Their Role in Enhancing Your Practice
An older client displaying signs of dementia appears in your office wanting to make changes to her will. She is accompanied by a neighbor and caregiver on whom she has depended since the death of her husband two years prior. Do you allow your client to make the changes to her ill? How will you assess decision-making abilities that may indicate diminished capacity? Do you refer your client to a professional? How will you address this issue with your client? Do you understand the caregiver’s role in your client’s wish to make changes to her will?

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Aging and the Legal System

This chapter addresses the foundational ethical competencies for psychologists and geropsychologists including the unique challenges associated with  surrogate decision making, legal, clinical, and psychosocial interventions specifi c to working with vulnerable older adults, ethical dilemmas that can emerge within various situations including assessment and integrated care settings, detection and intervention strategies in cases of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and ethical approaches to research with older adults.

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Assessing Knowledge of Elder Abuse

Financial exploitation by a family member is the most common form of elder mistreatment; yet, it is a difficult crime to detect and prosecute. Psychologists have traditionally assisted prosecutors by assessing decisional capacity and opining in court whether an alleged victim was able to consent to the contested transactions. This article proposes and evaluates a novel form of psychological expertise in financial abuse trials—social framework testimony to reeducate jurors who are misinformed about aspects of this largely hidden crime. Findings suggest that, as in cases of child and spousal abuse, social framework testimony on the general dispositional and situational factors inherent in elder financial abuse may enhance prosecutions.

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Nurturing the “Third Shifters”: Helping Ourselves to Help Others

Sometimes, it is important to put yourself before others.
Consider the following scenario:
Susan is a 42-year old mother of two teenage children, a wife to her partner of 23 years, the older of two siblings, and the daughter of her 72-year old mother and 79-year old father. She works a full-time job at a bank. A typical weekday for Susan involves an early start to catch up on emails, prepare coffee and breakfast, wake the children, and get everyone out of the door by 7:00. Her day is punctuated by texts from her family members and a reminder call from her brother to pick up medications for her parents on her way home. She leaves the office at 17:30 in the evening, retrieves the medications from the pharmacy, and arrives at her parents’ home to start dinner and assist with their bedtime preparations. She finally returns to her home at 20:00 to assist her children with homework and prepare for the next day. Susan’s day finally comes to a close when she crawls under the covers just 30 minutes before midnight. And, the cycle begins again.

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