Group Process and Skill Selection

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

She was trying to block the negative feelings of the daughter. The daughter mentioned that it has been six years that she has not been going out and dating with anybody since her divorce. The wife believed that the daughter should not be talking about these challenges in a group.

The elder caretakers usually agreed with each other whereas they exhibited persistence to young caretakers' solutions and experiences. The young caretakers believe that it would help to the caretaker and the patient to have some sort of breaks. These temporary breaks would give relief to caretakers and help them to balance their emotions and feelings. One of them told that she goes to movies when the loved one goes to sleep and regardless of the theme of the movie she would cry. She described her crying spells as a sort of anger that not being able to change the effects of Alzheimer's and watching the loved one's decline helplessly. At this very moment, the wife made nervous and fast face gesture.

Membership dynamics

It is obvious that younger people were sharing the positive and negative feelings whereas the other two ladies (the daughter and the wife) were actively disagreeing. Although the elder caretaker sitting on the left gave two of his experiences and showed dominance, he and caretaker sitting next to him were silent outsiders. They seemed like they were not ready to express themselves. The reasons could be that they felt inferior or embarrassed to express their anxiety, sympathy and long-term frustrations.

Participation and levels and styles of influence

The wife and the daughter were highly participating, mostly debating to each other. The facilitator was carefully pointing out the emotions and addressing the positive aspects of the caregiving when it came to the point of conflict. On the other hand, the facilitator let the group unite together. The elder male caregiver waited through the end to tell his experiences and how he attached to them. The elder female caregiver was very silent unless someone asked direct questions. None of the group members was ignored but the elder professional caregiver chose to be silent. The most dominant character was the wife while the young caregivers mostly talked about modern techniques and approaches to caregiving.

Conflict Management

Group members were pretty good at taking back step when the conflict occurred. Nevertheless, the facilitator was able to manage the conflicts between group members.

Member roles

The young members, C and D, were defining the problem intellectually with a dry wittiness whereas the old professionals were serious. The wife monopolized that her emotional issues are bigger than the others as she has a life commitment. The elder female caregiver was completely silent whereas the young group members were very talkative and open. Elder male caregiver was carefully listening to the others and agreeing or disagreeing by giving examples of his experiences with loved ones. Thus, he cares an internal leader role. However, the facilitator made sure that most caregivers -regardless of the relationships to the patients- have the similar issues and ties as it is expected from a skilled facilitator.

The scapegoat was two daughters, E and F. The reason for that F. expressed her feelings about the nursing home and her father's uncontrollable anger whereas E. is not spending enough time with the loved one.

Manly the facilitator was dictating the ideas when it came to the conflict with a touch of the humor. The facilitator did not let anyone or the subgroup to dominate over the others. The facilitator tried to give as equal as possible time to each member. Although the elder caretaker lady was not willing to talk about herself, the facilitator directed questions to her to open her up.

Future Work

The next session would be in an outdoor place where the group members show some affords, canoeing is a good example. One would try to put two people confronting with each other in the same canoe to increase the dynamics between them. After this short session one would try to expose their emotions and approaches. Why do they confront or agree? Why are they afraid or feeling in a competition?

References

Garvin, C.D., Gutierrez, L.M., & Galinsky, M.J., (Eds.). (2004). Handbook of social work with groups. New York: Guilford Publications.

Gitlin L.N., Corcoran M., Winter L., Boyce A., & Hauck W.W. (2001). A randomized, controlled trial of a home environmental intervention: effect on efficacy and upset in caregivers and on daily function of persons with dementia. Gerontologist 41 (1): 4 -- 14.

Mitchell S.L., Teno J.M., & Kiely D.K. ( 2009). The clinical course of advanced dementia." N. Engl J. Med 361 (16): 1529 -- 38.

Molsa P.K., Marttila R.J., & Rinne U.K. (1995). Long-term survival and predictors of mortality in Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia. ActaNeurol Scand 91 (3): 159 -- 64.

Northen, H. & Kurland, R. (2001). Social work with groups. (3rd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.

Retrieved from www.census.org

Retrieved from http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/caregiverguide.htm

Retrieved from http://alzonline.phhp.ufl.edu/en/topics/#T_CareWell