SSLD and Senior Service: A Comprehensive Model for Practice

SSLD and Senior Service: A Comprehensive Model for Practice

Ka Tat Tsang (University of Toronto, Canada) and Chui Fan Linus Ip (Centre for Learning and Change – Baycrest, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2633-9.ch013
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This chapter introduces the SSLD (Strategies and Skills Learning and Development) System as a comprehensive model for practice in psychosocial service for seniors. The challenges and issues associated with aging are complex, and involve physical, biological, psychological, social, existential and spiritual dimensions. In order to address them in a comprehensive and balanced manner, we need to draw on an extensive set of knowledge, experience and skills taken from various healthcare and human service professions. The SSLD system is built on a meta-theoretical structure that interfaces well with both analytic and holistic conceptualizations of the human person within his or her life-world, or being-in-the-world. Principles and methods of SSLD practice are described through phases of intervention: engagement and problem translation, N3C assessment, 6D (domains of being-in-the-world) formulation, implementation, review and evaluation. These are illustrated with practice examples. Issues related to practice research and knowledge production are also explored.
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Psychosocial Theories

Erikson’s (1950) stage theory is among the earliest attempts to articulate a theory of aging that is primarily psychological. His theory, in contrast to the biomedical models, focuses on the subjective experience of the individual and deals with the intellectual, emotional, and motivational domains. Ideally, individuals will explore life and find meaning, eventually attaining wisdom and developing integrity. The less successful ones may find themselves unproductive, feeling guilty or depressed, and their lives may be characterized by hopelessness or despair. In subsequent development of the theory, Joan Erikson (1982/1997) elaborated on the “ninth stage” in which biological decline and function loss take the individual back through the earlier eight stages, struggling with negative responses to their environments, such as mistrust, shame and guilt, isolation, and despair. The use of a stage approach, assuming there is homogeneity among people of the same age bracket, does not pay attention to cultural diversity and individual difference. In this approach, while biological decline is recognized, little attention is given to how the biology interacts with psychosocial processes. The role of environmental factors, including social systems, services and resources, as well as cultural and lifestyle differences, is not adequately explored.

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