How the Novel "Days in the Lives of Gerontological Social Workers" Contributes to Social Work Literature
They assist them in applying for needed services and dealing with problems as they arise. They may help seniors fill out various other kinds of paperwork, including advance directives. Gerontological social workers may need to assess clients’ functional capacity. They have some expertise in recognizing the difference between normal and abnormal aging processes and will refer clients to medical professionals when necessary.
Organizations, Web sites, additional readings, and a glossary of terms are included to assist you in further exploring these areas of social work practice. Photographs by social worker/photographer Marianne Gontarz York are featured to expand your visual images of real people as they grow older.
It is impossible to work with older adults effectively if these priorities are not congruent and social workers are not prepared to work within and across systems. The social work profession is a significant service provider for older adults and their families. In 2006, the Center for Workforce Studies at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) conducted a national survey of 10,000 licensed clinical social workers in the United States. The authors found that 75% of social workers have older adults (55 years and older) in their caseloads (Whitaker, Weismiller, & Clark, 2006).
As the need for medical social workers increases, consistent with the rising percentage of older adults in the population, it is likely there will be an even broader application of social work skills in medical, academic, and community outreach settings through use of the interdisciplinary team concept.
Germain, C. B. (1991). Human Behavior in the social environment: An ecological view. New York: Columbia University Press.
Whitaker, T., Weismiller, T., & Clark, E. (2006). Assuring the sufficiency of a frontline workforce: A national study of licensed social workers. Special
report: Social work services for older adults. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.
Days in the Lives of Social Workers, edited by Linda May Grobman and Dara Bergel Bourassa. White Hat Communications, Harrisburg, PA, 2007