A Study of Direct Care Staff for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities/Mental Illness Regarding Grief and Loss Issues
Wood, Elizabeth Anne
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Social service agencies often ignore death and dying issues (DDI). Direct care staff (DCS) are left to fend for themselves when it comes to these issues. Training on DDI and GLI is scarce. Theories such as Symbolic Interactionism and Awareness Theory help explain DDI and GLI. The methods used in this study include qualitative interviewing. Ten DCS were interviewed in 2012 from a Fargo social service agency. They were asked questions about their belief in DDI and their work with clientele. Addressed were their belief about DDI effects them personally and their educational background. Results indicated there were positive perceptions of disabled persons regarding GLI and DDI. The DCS believed the disabled individual grieves adequately with staff and family assistance. The disabled persons with whom DCS worked with understood DDI and GLI. The staff at this agency were not trained for GLI or DDI until such an incident occurred.