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Valuing Older People: Positive Psychological Practice

ISBN: 978-0-470-68334-7
224 pages
May 2010
Valuing Older People: Positive Psychological Practice (0470683341) cover image


This book examines the growing importance of positive psychology and its connection to later life.
  • Applies Social Role Valorisation (SVR) principles to care of older people, particularly those with seriously disabling conditions such as dementia, stroke, and multiple health problems
  • Provides a comprehensive body of positive principles and practical approaches for those who care for older people
  • Examines the impact of the devaluation of older people’s lives in the context of societies dependent on technology 
  • Demonstrates how more age-inclusive societies and open awareness of later-life issues are fundamental to strong communities, as well as to personal happiness and resilience
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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vii

About the Author and Book ix

1 The Psychology and Ecology of Ageing 1

2 Preventive Psychology in Later Life 17

3 Assessment in the New Paradigm 47

4 New Paradigm Principles for Intervention 59

5 Older People with Cognitive Disabilities 87

6 New Paradigm Principles of Service Design 135

7 Psychological Therapies with Older People 155

References 189

Index 199

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Author Information

Now an independent writer, Elspeth Stirling practiced as a Clinical Psychologist for 28 years, specializing in work with older people in the National Health Service in the UK. She has trained in Social Role Valorization (SRV)-based service design, and run training courses for residential, nursing, social work, and clinical care staff who work with older people with dementia and other disabilities, and mental health problems.
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"In general, Valuing Older People fulfills its promise to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges facing older people while simultaneously providing a new paradigm approach that both addresses the prejudice against this population as well as focuses on better understanding the whole person. This book will appeal to clinicians and caregivers who are interested in working with this population. Researchers may also find value in this book as a means of exploring possible areas of study." (PsycCRITIQUES, February 2011)

"Elspeth Stirling's intellect, wisdom and compassionate commitment to the well being of older people shines through in this book, which skilfully weaves together social role valorisation and positive psychology to create a 'new' positive psychology of ageing. It represents a revolutionary challenge not only to Clinical Psychology and related professions, but also to the mechanisms and attitudes of Western society in general. I predict this book will come to be judged as a milestone in the literature on the psychology of ageing."
Dr Sinclair Lough, Head of Psychology Services for Older People, Dorset PCT

"At a time when age equality is being promoted as a policy, this book provides a welcome antidote to dogma, communicating a positive psychology of ageing that is grounded equally in theory and practice. Social Role Valorization has found its champion in relation to ageing and older people in Elspeth Stirling, and may at last make its long-awaited contribution to this challenging area of human experience. Blended with insights from Cognitive Analytic Therapy and with illustrative case examples, this is a powerful, refreshing book that could change the way we see older people and ageing. Recommended for all those who work with older people."
Bob Woods, Professor of Clinical Psychology of Older People, Bangor University, UK

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Valuing Older People: Positive Psychological Practice (US $52.95)

-and- Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope while Coping with Stress and Grief (US $18.95)

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