Social Worker Working with Older Adults and Their Families
Social workers working with older adults have a range of benefits and challenges. The current society tends to shy away from aging since aging is associated with various negative factors. However, as social workers working with older adults, individuals can have a different perspective on getting old as they interact with older adults. They get to hear stories that they can apply in their lives and meet individuals who have weathered life challenges (National Association of Social Workers, 2022). They also get to help most of them lead a quality life towards the end of their life. The intimacy of working with the older population together with their family is considered fulfilling as individuals can form close relations with others and offer quality end-of-life care (National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, 2022). However, the cultural diversity of the older populations means working with three generations (between 65 and over 100), regular involvement with grandchildren and children, and the multiplicity of health issues, which makes working with them quite complex (National Association of Social Workers, 2022). This can be cumbersome and draining.
The role of working as a social worker who is working with older adults highly interests me. Older adults have a lot of wisdom to offer regarding life. I would be able to expand my mind, identify room for change, and see a world full of possibilities (Senedeker, 2021). Furthermore, by working with older adults, one can help the community as a whole as one interacts with the family and friends of the clients.
For one to be successful in working with older adults, one needs to understand their unique needs instead of generalizing them. Every client has a unique identity with diverse ethnic, cultural, and racial backgrounds. Providing highly person-centered care would be important. Furthermore, working with older adults would require high cultural competence and the ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.
National Association of Social Workers. (2021). Clinical Social Work Practice with Older Adults. Retrieved from https://www.naswnyc.org/page/171/Clinical-Social-Work-Practice-with-Older-Adults.htm
National Partnership for Hospice Innovation. (2021). The Distinct Role of a Hospice Social Worker. Retrieved from https://www.hrrv.org/blog/the-distinct-role-of-a-hospice-social-worker/
Snekeder, L. (2021). Strength in Numbers: A Millennial’s View on the Value of Working With Older Adults. Social Work Today. Retrieved from https://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/exc_0616.shtml
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Please share your thoughts after reviewing the readings.
1)What are some of the benefits and challenges for a Social Worker working with older adults and their families?
2)Do these particular roles as a Social Worker working with older adults interest you and why?
3)What do you think you need to understand about older adults to be successful in working with them?
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