Mental Health Assessment of Older Adults
This course provides an introduction to mental health assessment of older adults with a service learning component.
- To arraign knowledge and experience using select assessments to evaluate mental health functioning in older adults.
- To obtain a basic understanding of mental health and ethical concerns in geriatric care.
- To learn about the services provided and mental health issues addressed by a community-based non-profit agency.
- To acquire experience with isolated or homebound elders by providing reassurance and safety telephone calls in a supervised environment.
J. J. Gallo, H. R. Bogner, T. Fulmer, G. J. Paveza (2006) Handbook of Geriatric Assessment. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Online Syllabus and Course Notes
The syllabus and selected notes for the class will be posted online through the University of South Florida BlackBoard system. To access the online syllabus and course notes, go to the My USF webpage (http://my.usf.edu). In order to log into My USF, you must get a Netid account. This is done from the welcome page and requires the identification number on your student id card. In addition to accessing course notes, you can also view your class grades, and send emails about course materials, etc. Course Requirements:
The course grade will be based on the following: Grading Scale:
- ElderNet Service Learning Project 35% A = 94 – 100
- Completion of Values History 15% A- = 90 – 93
- GDS/MMSE Reports 20% B + = 87 – 89
- Final Exam 30% B = 84 – 86
- B- = 80 – 83
- C+ = 77 – 79
- C = 74 – 76
- C- = 70 – 73
- D+ = 67 – 69
- D = 64 – 66
- D- = 60 – 63
- F = below 60
Date Topic Chapter
Week 1 Course Overview, Service Learning 1, 3
1/15 Introduction to ElderNet and the Crisis Center
Week 2 ElderNet Training
1/22 NOTE: Class this week will be held at One Crisis Center Plaza, Tampa, Florida 33613 (located off of Bearss Avenue)
Week 3 Evaluating and Promoting Cognitive Health 10, 12
1/29 Functional and Behavioral Health 14, 18
Week 4 How to Understand a Neuropsychological Report Handouts
2/5 (Mood, Personality, Cognition)
Week 5 Assessment of Depression 8
2/12 Description of MMSE and GDS Assignment
Week 6 Assessment of Anxiety/Agitation 8
Week 7 Assessment of Expressive and Receptive Language 9
2/26 Dr. Kathryn Kieffer
Week 8 Assessment of Dementia/Delirium – Part I 7
3/5 (Class Presentations)
Week 9 No Class ******************************Spring Break
Week 10 Assessment of Dementia – Part II
3/19 GDS/MMSE PAPERS DUE/Class Presentations
Week 11 Screening and Assessment of Alcohol/Drug Problems Handouts
3/26 Dr. Larry Dupree
Week 12 Assessing Suicide Risk, Elder Abuse, and Violence 6
Week 13 Crisis Assessment and Intervention with Older Adults 2, 20
Week 14 Driving 4
4/16 Trail Making A & B (Materials supplied in class)
Week 15 Assessment of Capacity 5
4/23 Advance Directives, Competency Discuss Completed Values History on Pages 70 – 75
Week 16 Sleep, Sex, and Final Exam Review page 304
4/30 ELDERNET PAPERS DUE/ Class Presentations pages 339 – 340
5/7 Final Exam (30 multiple choice questions)
1. ElderNet Service Learning Project
Students may elect to serve as an Elder Net telephone caller OR complete a needs assessment for ElderNet. ElderNet assignment options will be discussed in detail the first day of class. ASSIGNMENT OPTION 1: Students will be required to complete a minimum of one 4 hour time block each week at a set time agreed upon between the student and ElderNet staff. Students who provide ElderNet telephone calling services to older adults will be required to write a 2 to 3 page paper describing either their 1) most challenging experience with an ElderNet client and how they resolved or addressed the issue or 2) the most important thing they learned as an ElderNet caller. Students will be required to complete a minimum of one four-hour time block each week at a time agreed upon between the student and ElderNet staff. Students will also present their paper as a class presentation. ASSIGNMENT OPTION 2: Students will be required to conduct a needs assessment for ElderNet. The specific area to be assessed will be determined by ElderNet staff, but project will require a literature search, review of the literature, assessment of community needs, and interviews with key stakeholders. A 10 to 15 page paper will be written that includes a 1 page description of the problem, 1 to 2 page background statement, 1 to 2 page description of the public health significance, 1 to 2 pages description of the methods used to conduct the needs assessment, 2 to 3 pages of results, 4 to 7 pages of recommendations, and a 1 to 2 page conclusion. On the due date, your ElderNet paper must be submitted as a hardcopy in class.
2. GDS Administration and Report
Students will administer the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) to two (2) people and write 1 brief report. The report should be 2 to 3 pages in length (1 to 1.5 pages per screened individual) and describe the administration process, items endorsed, interpretation of the cut score, and referral question. This assignment will be discussed in detail during the week four class. On the due date, your GDS paper must be submitted as a hardcopy in class.
3. MMSE Administration and Report
Students will administer the 30-item Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) to two (2) people and write 1 brief report. The report should be 2 to 3 pages in length (1 to 1.5 pages per screened individual) and describe the administration process, items failed, interpretation of the cut score, and referral question. This assignment will be discussed in detail during the week four class. On the due date, your MMSE paper must be submitted as a hardcopy in class.
4. Values History
Students will complete the Values History on pages 70 to 75 in the textbook. Students will discuss the importance of obtaining a values history when competing an advance directive.
USF Criteria for Service Learning:
- Collaborating with the Crisis Center to provide ElderNet support telephone calls will provide students with the opportunity to become knowledgeable of the community needs of older adults as well as the social services available to address their needs. This will also assist the community agency with providing a much needed service within their limited resource base.
- Through partnering with the ElderNet service, students will have the opportunity to interact with older adults, assess the psychosocial issues they face, and address some of the ethical issues that arise when working with older clients. At the start of the semester all students will receive 4 hours of training from ElderNet staff.
- Students will be required to complete either a 1) reflection assignment based on their experience as an ElderNet volunteer who makes weekly reassurance and safety telephone calls to community dwelling elders or 2) a research paper that addresses issues of importance to ElderNet services. If students volunteer at ElderNet, they will complete a reflection assignment. Students who choose not to volunteer will complete an alternative assignment designed to also benefit the ElderNet program.
- Volunteer students who make weekly telephone calls will be asked to complete a block of four hours of time at the ElderNet program each week. This is the standard time shift required weekly for volunteers.
- Student grades will reflect both their required coursework as well as their service-learning at the Crisis Center as outlined in the course syllabus grading requirements.
Work with Community Agency:
- The USF course Mental Health Assessment of Older Adults will work with the Crisis Center of Tampa to provide support calls to older adults through the ElderNet program.
- Students will have the option to either volunteer four hours each week at the Crisis Center and write a reflection paper about their experience at the end of the semester or write a more comprehensive research paper that will contribute to the goals and mission of the Crisis Center.
Professor: Lisa M. Brown & Kathryn Frahm
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