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1.4.10 Unfinished business

When people die suddenly we can never be sure that they have done and said what they want and are able to do. Meg’s long term-illness gave her a lot of time for reflection and preparation, so that while her death was sudden and she was unable to see her younger son, she also had the opportunity for conversations with people about her death. However, there may have been last-minute wishes that Meg was unable to express.

Li’s sudden stroke may have left her with things unsaid, but her
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1.4.6 Case study 3: Andrew’s death – a hospice death

Andrew was a 23 year-old car mechanic who had been suffering from indigestion for some months before the GP referred him to a hospital consultant, who after a series of tests diagnosed cancer of the colon, with liver secondaries. At this time Andrew was living alone in a small flat a few minutes’ drive from his parents’ home. Because the treatment which Andrew had agreed to involved a long recovery, he decided to move back home with his parents for a while so that he would have someone to
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1.4.5 Case study 2: Li’s death – a residential home death

Li was a resident in a home where she had lived for the previous five years. She had led an exciting and unusual life, travelling from China at the age of 30 and living in England for the remainder of her life. After her husband’s death Li felt unable to live alone and moved into a residential home which employed some Chinese-speaking staff and had a small Chinese day unit attached to it. Li maintained her use of Chinese language, and continued to wear Chinese clothes. Despite these strong
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1.3.11 The significance of the near-death experience

The sociologist Allan Kellehear (1995) observes that most studies have had a medical focus, investigating whether near-death experiences could be the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain or another medical or psychological cause. Kellehear suggests that the search for psycho-medical explanations has focused on psycho-neurological and defensive mechanisms emphasising altered status of consciousness or physical functioning and not taken into account the meaning of these experiences. Kellehea
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1.2.9 Nick

In our society we tend to expect not to have to face the likelihood of death until our 70s at least, but one group of people who are having to face the prospect of death at a relatively young age are those diagnosed as HIV-positive. Controversy surrounds the issue of whether those at risk of contracting the virus should have the blood test which might give them that death sentence. At the time of writing there is no clear evidence that any treatment can improve the prognosis, even if taken at
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1.5.1 Agreeing who to be

So far I have focused on one-to-one interactions. Yet ‘defining a scene’ is often a group effort. Goffman says this involves teamwork, with all participants, in effect, agreeing to act and speak within an overall frame of reference. He suggests that it works like a theatrical play in which everyone has taken on a part within the scene. To play your part means setting aside all those aspects of yourself which are not relevant to your role. The scene works only because everyone plays their
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1.2.3 Place and identity

Home, then, can support your ‘identity’ through the way you ‘personalise’ the space in it with your own belongings – making a statement about who you are. However, if you look back to Activity 1, you can also see other ways identity is supported: ‘I can be myself’. If you say this, it suggests that you don't have to put on an act. You fit ‘naturally’. Home is part of your identity because you are the person who ‘fits’ in that place.

But it is not usually jus
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • show knowledge and understanding of the critical importance of service users' views in all aspects of health and social care management.


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References

Putnam, R.D. (2000) Bowling Alone: The collapse and revival of American community, New York, Simon Schuster.
Stott, M. and Hodges, J. (1996) ‘Local exchange and trading systems, never knowingly understood’, Local Economy, November, pp. 266–8.
Taylor, M. (2003) Public Policy in the Community, London, Palgrave Macmillan.
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2 Pressure for change

Bedford Mencap was founded in 1955, as a branch of the National Association for Parents of Backward Children. It provides services for its members, such as the Welfare Visitors Scheme, and also campaigns for change at national and local levels. When the branch was founded there was no provision for families other than the advice to put their child into a mental handicap hospital. Now, partly due to the efforts of Mencap, there is far more on offer. However, you'll shortly be hearing that whil
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8 Comment on the audio clips

In the cases of John and Danny, few, if any, of needs were being satisfied. Both were unemployed and, despite some assistance from Social Security, neither was economically secure. Neither of them had protective housing. Both were reliant on public toilets for clean water and, by and large, on charity to obtain nutritious food. Neither had ready access to appropriate health care, and both relied on the Accident and Emergency department at the hospital for medical treatment. John certainly did
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1 The Chinese Welfare Association's Carer Support Project, Belfast

This audio unit features a project that was set up in Northern Ireland specifically to support Chinese carers. It is one of several projects being run by the Chinese Welfare Association in Belfast at that time.

The Chinese Welfare Association

The Chinese Welfare Association is a voluntary orga
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1.3 Models of understanding in mental health

Because mental health is such a complex area, it is important that the models of understanding which are applied to it are broader than the ‘biomedical’ one alone, which focuses simply on professional activity and on diagnoses and treatment. The box below provides a quick summary of the biomedical model.

The biomedical model


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1.1 The biological effects of ethanol

This section investigates some of the harmful effects that a high level of blood-ethanol can have on the body: both short-term problems such as ‘hangover’, and long-term health problems that are associated with regular heavy drinking. Whilst this section is primarily about the biological effects that ethanol has on various organs of the body, it is important to remember that the socioeconomic effects of heavy drinking are also very serious (Paton, 2005).
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4.5 Vulnerability and rights

One of the assumptions that is made in order to justify social workers making such life-changing judgements is that some people are vulnerable and therefore need decisions made on their behalf. This assumption is not held by everyone and is often challenged by groups and individuals representing service users and by service users themselves.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • begin to recognise how elite sport is funded in the UK.


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3.5 Benzodiazepine tranquillisers, Prozac and the SSRIs

One of the most significant ranges of drugs ever produced is the benzodiazepine tranquillisers (usually classed as ‘minor tranquillisers’ or ‘hypnotics’), often prescribed as a remedy for ‘minor’ disorders such as depression, sleeplessness and anxiety. In effect, they extended the range of conditions that could be treated by medication. The best-known example is probably Valium.

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