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Please write your answers clearly in the space provided.  All questions must be answered, please ask your assessor if you don’t understand any of the questions.  If you require more space attach a page clearly marked with your name, the name of the unit of competency (which can be obtained from the front of this Assessment booklet and the question you are responding to.  Some questions may require you to reference the learning materials provided by Queensford College. Your assessor will ensure that you have been provided with all relevant documentation.

Defining Loss, Grief, and Bereavement

A loss is said to have occurred when the event has left a negative impact upon the individual, leading to a permanent change in his or her ways of seeing life, decision making and keeping social relationships. Tangible losses are categorized into personal (eyesight), interpersonal (lover) or symbolic (reorientation of home). Intangible psychological loss mainly comes through changes in perceiving one’s self-worth and/or self-identity (Boss and Yeats 2014).

Grief:

There are varied and diverse socially observed expressions of grief which are often described as mourning. Grief is said to be the usual reaction to the sense of loss that an individual feels as a result of losing something that was valued by him or her.

Bereavement:

Bereavement describes an objective situation when the individual is suffering from a sense of deprivation caused by loss of the valued object (Parkes and Prigerson 2013).

T1, Q2: Three possible reactions to loss and grief:

Deterioration in health.

Helplessness and prolonged depression.

Thoughts on self destruction.

T1, Q3: As a support worker, you are required to always consider social, cultural, ethnic and spiritual requirements of the individual you are working with.

True.

T1, Q4: Give three (3) examples of complications and risks to the health and safety of the person who is experiencing loss and grief.

Risk of death from heart disease is enhanced.

Risk of death from suicide is enhanced.

Individuals experiencing loss and grief are also prone to several psychosomatic and psychiatric diseases.

T1, Q5: One of your clients has expressed his thoughts of ending his life and has asked you not to tell anyone. Will you grant his request? Explain your answer.

It is of utmost importance to grant his request at the moment he or she is requesting. However, expert’s advice should be taken in such situation to prevent the person in trouble from committing suicide, without disclosing the identity.

T1, Q6: List two organizations or appropriate services in Australia or in your local suburb for referral of individuals at risk of suicide.

Hope for Life Suicide Prevention & Bereavement Support

Lifeline

T1, Q7: To effectively provide support to individuals who are experiencing loss and grief, you must:

  1. All of the above.

T1, Q8: Define “empathy”:

Empathy is an ability of a human being to understand the depth and gravity of the feelings or any other serious problems faced by another human being or any living being.

T1, Q9: Give an example of a situation showing how you considered the personal (social or cultural or ethnic or spiritual) requirements of the individual you were working with.

Possible Reactions to Loss and Grief

Expression of bereavement varies across different cultures and ethnic groups. Understanding and respecting the beliefs of the person you are working with is important for making the person rely on your advices (Simpson 2013).

T1, Q10:  Give an example of a non-verbal communication approach that acknowledges the individual’s emotional needs at a time of loss and grief.

Silently listening to whatever the individual has to say is necessary. To intervene the person midway can stop the spontaneous flow of talk. Embracing the person, or holding his or her hand in the time of acute pain and sorrow can be a sign of love and affection (Cock and Rocker 2014).

T1, Q11: After identifying that an individual is experiencing difficulty in coping with grief, list down three (3) support services and resources for bereavement support.

One of the services that are usually prescribed is to talk things out with the trained counselor can help the bereaved individual make sense of the feelings which are bothering them.

There are telephone and online counselors for those who are bereaved by suicide or affected by the same.

There are 24/7 services for suicide prevention.   

T1, Q12: True or False: Simply asking  “Do you have any questions?” or “Do you understand?,” is the best way to obtain feedback from an individual to confirm that options are clearly understood.

True.

T1, Q13:Give an example of how you maintain confidentiality in line with organization practices when offering support and information to the person who is experiencing loss and grief.

To maintain confidentiality of the patient’s personal information, the individual files are to be locked and secured. The personal details should not be disclosed to someone external to the process without prior consent from the patient.

T1, Q14: You are working with a person who is experiencing loss and grief. Your strategies in caring for your self include.

  1. All of the above.

T1, Q15: It is important that you review the support that you provided to the person who is experiencing loss and grief. To conduct this review, you should reflect on the outcomes during and after support is provided and you should also:

As a support worker, how and why should I take care of myself?

As human beings, all of us have experienced sense of loss and grief in different points in our lives, and we all know that we will continue to experience it as long as we live. In case of supporting someone seeking help for the unbearable pain they are facing due to loss and grief , it is important for support workers to take care of themselves. Each of our lives has many reasons to be stressed out about. Our work life and personal life and different emotional bondage come between each other to throw us out of balance. In such situation, it is important to monitor our level of stress while providing support to another person who is in need for professional help to get out of a helpless condition. If a support worker cannot reduce his or her own complications regarding personal life, they cannot provide help to another person who needs it the most. Supporting people suffering from loss and grief needs a great deal of patience, sincerity and clarity of mind. If support workers are themselves stressed out, their understanding and making use of the personal information they have been confided upon will be overshadowed by fatigue. Moreover, the problem worsens when the support worker starts to associate the grieving individual’s loss and grief. This phenomenon disturbs their comprehensive skills to understand the patient’s problems, the cultural, social and psychic contexts that the problems have emerged from. Two of the major steps in the process of providing support is to identify where the problems are and to supervise and debrief the information they are provided with by the support-sseker. Responding is the second step, which is based upon supervision and debriefing – both of which claims a lot of time, effort and clarity in understanding.

Considerations for Support Workers

Scenario: Bob is a 73-year old resident in your workplace whose wife passed away a few months ago. Bob was married to his wife for 52 years and since her death, several changes have been observed in him. He has not been eating much lately and he has lost weight. He refuses to leave his room and does not want to socialize with other people. His family and other support workers have also reported incidents that Bob has been verbally and physically aggressive towards them.

Q1. Describe how you will apply empathic listening skills and verbal and non-verbal techniques in communicating with Bob.

Answer: First, I have to be patient but I should keep in touch with Bob. I have to be around him for a long period of time to attain his reliance. I should not ask for details. If he shares anything about his married life, I should patiently listen to it, and refer to his deceased spouse by name. If Bob does not want to share anything, I must not push him hard. If his level of pain grows acutely, we should keep a careful eye on him, but never ask him to stop grieving over the death. On opportune moments, we should make Bob happy and make him understand the worth of his life.

Q2. Do you think Bob is experiencing difficulty in coping with grief? (Yes or No)

Answer: Yes.

Q2. Please explain your answer.

Answer: Bob has lived the major part of his life with his wife. We can clearly understand how much he has loved and depended on his wife during the years of their marriage. The sort of love and compassion that one finds in the other person when the two have lived their best part of life together, it cannot be provided if one of them is not there anymore. The acute pain and helplessness that one experiences is not easy to cope with.

Q3. Describe strategies you can apply in providing bereavement support to Bob.

Answer: At this age, Bob feels extremely lonely and that has led to reluctance to eat and lead life properly. Firstly, we must look after his diet. Secondly, we must be a patient listener and never push too hard to do or say anything. Thirdly, we should stick around and make him feel that we are not here to provide help, neither are we here to fill the gap made by the death of his spouse by being around, but we are there in his life.

Q4. Give examples of grief and bereavement support services and resources you can suggest to Bob.

Answer: ‘Australian Center for Grief and Bereavement’, ‘The Bereavement Care Center’.

Q5. After discussing bereavement strategies and support services with Bob, what you will you do to obtain feedback from him to confirm that he clearly understood what you explained?

Answer: I should ask Bob about his experience with the support service providers. I should ask him if he has any problems with the service. I should also ask if he has difficulties following anything regarding the process undertaken by us and listen patiently to what he has to say.

Q6. Give an example of how you can maintain Bob’s confidentiality in line with organisation practices.

Answer: I should keep the information provided by Bob extremely confidential and never disclose it to any other person without taking Bob’s prior consent.

Q7. Why is it important to reflect on the outcomes of the support provided to Bob?

Answer: Bob has lost one of the most important persons of his life. The love and compassion that is lost is irreplaceable. Bob is old and he might be thinking that his life has no worth any longer. He might as well have thoughts of ending his life, and he has also been neglecting his health lately. It is of utmost importance to make his life better. If that is not possible, we should at least strive to make his grief bearable.

References:

Boss, P. and Yeats, J.R., 2014. Ambiguous loss: A complicated type of grief when loved ones disappear. Bereavement Care, 33(2), pp.63-69.

Cook, D. and Rocker, G., 2014. Dying with dignity in the intensive care unit. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(26), pp.2506-2514.  

Parkes, C.M. and Prigerson, H.G., 2013. Bereavement: Studies of grief in adult life. Routledge.

Simpson, J.E., 2013. Grief and loss: A social work perspective. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 18(1), pp.81-90.

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