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A strengths perspective in working with people with Alzheimer’s disease

A strengths perspective in working with people with Alzheimer’s disease


A strengths perspective in working with people with Alzheimer's disease K A M - S H I N G Y I P Introduction Over the past decade, there has been an emergence of the strengths-based approach to case management with disadvantaged groups, in particular clients with mental health needs (Rapp, 1992; Saleebey, 1996, 1997). In contrast to the focus on a person's deficits, characteristic of traditional disease-model approaches, its major focus in professional intervention is upon identifying his or her strengths. The strengths perspective stresses an ecological system, wholeness and integrity, and clients' subjective narrative experience in assessment and intervention (Saleebey, 1997; Sullivan, 1997). The merits of the strengths perspective are in its ability to decode, explore, discover, develop clients' own strengths as well as cultivate resources in resolving their own problems, realizing their own dreams, achieving their own goals. Saleebey described five underlying principles to strengths perspectives: 1. Every individual, group, family and community has its strength. 2. Trauma and abuse, illness and struggle may be injurious but they may also be sources of challenge and opportunity. 3. Assume that you do not know the upper limits of the capacity to grow and change and take individual,
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