Simulated Assessment Assignment
Type: Reflective Assessment
Subject area: Nursing
Education Level: College
Length: 6 pages
Referencing style: APA
Preferred English: UK English
Spacing Option: Double
Instructions: Reflective Assessment and Intervention Strategies 2020/21 A 1500 (+/- 10%) word essay, which summarises, discusses and evaluates the process and outcomes of the simulated assessment film. It will combine evidence included in the film clip with information from the referral and the social work knowledge base (including theory) to draw appropriate conclusions.
The case situation provided concerns an isolated elderly woman (Mrs Murphy), who is partially deaf, and increasingly restricted by dizziness from her normal activities. You have available to you:
- Details of the circumstances which led to the referral
- A film clip showing a simulated assessment interview by two social work students – this will be made available to you in the “Assignments” Folder in the Content Area of the Learning Room
- Access to a small selection of the literature on isolation, loneliness, and disability in later life.
In your 1500 word essay please address the following:
- Summarise the information emerging from the assessment interview
- Use this, plus the information provided in the referral, plus selected reading including the sources provided, to set out some key conclusions about the issues apparent in the case
- Provide a critical commentary on the assessment interview, drawing on what you have learnt about assessment, and using appropriate published sources. For instance, you could focus on the model(s) and process(es) of assessment used, and discuss how these assisted or hampered information-gathering and engagement
- You should end by proposing three key aims for continuing work with Mrs Murphy.
Course Number: Course Name
Summary of the Information Emerging from the Assessment Interview
Deirdre Murphy is a 74-year-old woman of Irish origin. She appears depressed and locked indoors because she thinks she needs social care assistance. Her G.P Miss Jane is concerned that Mrs Murphy’s dizziness might cause her to fall in her house. She stays alone because she lost her husband two years ago. Her two children (daughter and son) live far away, and Mrs Murphy sees them once or twice a year. Mrs Murphy depends on her husband’s pension to purchase essentials. She is scared of going out and interacting with people. This might be attributable to the fact that she resides in a neighbourhood known for its high crime rate. However, there are services and activities for people living in her deprived neighbourhood. Additionally, there are close-knit communities of seniors from distinct ethnic backgrounds residing in the area, including Irish migrants. However, Mrs Murphy, in the assessment, states that they were doing everything with her husband. Therefore, she does not have a connection with people residing in the neighbourhood. Additionally, Mrs Murphy does not like talking to strangers. Therefore, she would like someone close to help her with her mobility.
As per the assessment interview, Mrs Murphy has recently been diagnosed with depression. She also has hearing problems but does not have a hearing aid. Mrs Murphy used to attend her local church with her husband. However, since her husband’s death, she has never maintained contact with the church. Mrs Murphy states that the church members forgot about her after her husband died. Although she knows few Irish friends from the church, she has never heard from them for many months. Mrs Murphy considers her quality of life not to be good as when her husband was alive. She desires to see her family again. Although she is at risk of falling, she claims that she moves quite steadily and can do things independently, like cooking.
Conclusions about Key Issues Apparent in the Case
The key issues apparent in the case are loneliness, social isolation, and the effects of old age. According to Fakoya, McCorry, & Donnelly(2020), social isolation and loneliness are a considerable public health challenge among the aging society. Fakoya and Colleagues associate loneliness with cognitive decline, reduced resistance to infections, and mental health conditions like dementia and depression. According to the case, Mrs Murphy leaves alone because her husband died two years ago. She no longer engages in social activities because she prefers staying indoors. For instance, Mrs Murphy stopped going to church in 2013 because she used to do everything with her husband. However, because of his death, she feels lonely. Additionally, her children live far away but manage to visit them once or twice a year. Thus, loneliness resulting from her husband’s death and her children residing far has contributed to Mrs Murphy’s depression.
Social isolation from family members, church members, and individuals from the same ethnic/cultural backgrounds contribute to Mrs Murphy’s loneliness. Social isolation and loneliness increase her risk of various social health problems, including depression and dementia. Her hearing impairment worsens the situation further by increasing her risk for falls. Shapiro (2019) substantiates the claim that hearing loss is a significant risk factor for falls among the older population. For instance, a mild hearing impairment triples an individual risk of falling. The fear of falling causes Mrs Murphy to limit her social activities and excursions, leading to social isolation and physical decline. Therefore, addressing these factors is crucial to enhancing Murphy’s quality of life.
Critical Commentary on the Assessment Interview
From the interview process with Mrs Murphy, it is apparent that assessment plays a vital role in social work. Through the assessment process, the social workers understood the client’s concerns, set goals together, and identified appropriate interventions. Milner, Myers, & O’Byrne (2020) define assessment as a continuous and participatory process that focuses on understanding the client and her situation. Assessment in social work forms the foundation for planning to achieve improvement or change in the client’s perception of life. For instance, through the assessment, the social worker found out that Mrs Murphy lost her husband two years ago; she likes staying indoors rather than interacting with neighbours, she has two children who live far away but manage to visit them once or twice a year. Mrs Murphy is uncomfortable around strangers, and she would prefer someone she knows to assist her with mobility. Although she has Irish friends, their social connection ended after her husband’s death. From such information, the social worker can identify the appropriate interventions for the client.
Five key phases define the framework of assessment. They include:
- Preparing for the task: From the interview process, it is evident that the social worker had prepared for the task. She came with an Adult Assessment Questionnaire to help uncover Mrs Murphy’s risk areas and capabilities. From the questionnaire, the social worker understood the level of support required by Mrs Murphy to enhance her life quality. Additionally, the questionnaire provided information about Mrs Murphy’s goals, strengths, challenges, needs, and resources. Through the interview, the social worker understood what needed to change in Mrs Murphy’s life and why the change was necessary
- Collecting data from all involved stakeholders: The social worker collected information from the Nottingham City Council Adult Social Care Department about Mrs Murphy’s condition. She also collected information from the client’s Practice Nurse Miss Jane. Thus, the social worker understood the client’s issues before conducting the assessment
- Applying professional knowledge to analyse, understand, and interpret gathered information: The social worker made sense of Mrs Murphy’s statement and events. She got an overall picture of Mrs Murphy’s life and events, and understood the situation in her life, and attempted to help her resolve the issues
- Making judgements: The social worker makes judgments about Mrs Murphy’s relationship with her children, ethnic members in her community and the church, safety issues, her life quality, and her ability to cope with her current life. For instance, Mrs Murphy claims that her current quality of life is not good as it used to be when her husband was alive. She used to do everything with him, but after his death, everything changed. For instance, Mrs Murphy no longer engages in social activities like going to church, purchasing groceries and her Irish friends from the church no longer contact her. Although she is steady, she risks falling and has a hearing impairment. From the social workers’ judgement, Mrs Murphy requires someone to assist her with mobility and other house activities. Therefore, the social work department should channel resources towards helping Mrs Murphy.
- Recommending/Deciding: The social worker uses this stage to recommend what needs to be done for the client, how, by whom, and when. Additionally, it considers the review of the client’s progress. After the interview, the social worker decided to talk with the community nurse about conducting mobility and falls assessment. Additionally, she promised the client to get some walk support to feel free going to church and going out shopping. Also, she will get information about her hearing impairment and follow up with her in the next two weeks.
The social worker used the questioning model of assessment. The model focuses on the question’s nature and the utilization of information in the questionnaire (Milner, Myers, & O'Byrne, 2020). The model was appropriate for Mrs Murphy because it helped uncover problems and appropriate interventions for her. The social worker used the questionnaire to identify Mrs Murphy’s problems and appropriate interventions to resolve her concerns. For instance, the social worker identified that Mrs Murphy required a fall assessment to address her risk factors for falling; she also needs a hearing assessment, and someone to support her mobility. The model is criticized for allowing social workers to assume the role of an expert. Thus, they make final decisions regarding the client’s needs, as evidenced from the interview process. Social workers should address the model’s limitation by attempting to comprehend what impacts the client’s situation and seek multiple perspectives to solve the case. Despite the model’s limitation, it assisted in information-gathering and engagement with Mrs Murphy.
The social work interventions and assessments were informed by anti-discriminatory practice. According to the practice, social workers should seek to eliminate, undermine, or reduce oppression and discrimination (Cocker & Hafford-Letchfield, 2014). Additionally, the social worker should focus on removing barriers that prevent individuals from using the needed services. According to Nottingham City Council Adult Social Care department’s letter, their budget is declining and their focus is on individuals with higher levels of needs. Therefore, Mrs Murphy’s risk factors, including social isolation, loneliness, risk of fall, and hearing impairment qualifies her for assistance from the department. Mrs Murphy’s risk factors need an immediate address to improve Murphy’s quality of life.
Three Key Aims for Continuing Work with Mrs Murphy
The three key aims for continuing work with Mrs Murphy include:
- To ensure that she understands her risk factors for falls and take appropriate measures to prevent falls
- Engage in social activities like going to church
- Connecting with the close-knit communities of seniors from distinct ethnic backgrounds residing in the area, including Irish migrants, to address her social isolation and loneliness
- Ensure that she gets in touch with her children more often
Cocker, C., & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (2014). Rethinking anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive theories for social work practice. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Fakoya, O. A., McCorry, N. K., & Donnelly, M. (2020). Loneliness and social isolation interventions for older adults: a scoping review of reviews. BMC Public Health, 20(129), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8251-6
Milner, J., Myers, J. S., & O'Byrne, P. (2020). Assessment in social work. London: Macmillan International Higher Education
Shapiro,Z.(2019, February 28). Hearing loss and the increased risk of falls. https://leader.pubs.asha.org/do/10.1044/hearing-loss-and-the-increased-risk-of-falls/full/