With the rapid growth of the aging population, the need for geriatric social workers is at an all-time high. This resource for students and practitioners addresses the critical demand head-on by illuminating the many rewards, challenges, and opportunities for social workers to provide counseling, care management, and support to older adults. Written from a practice perspective by a geriatric social worker with a long and varied career in the field, this text illustrates strategies and interventions that move theory into real-world social work settings.
In her 40-year career, author Mary Kaplan has participated in every aspect of geriatric social work, including direct services, administration, teaching, research, advocacy, and more. She describes key aspects of the social work role in settings ranging from hospital and community to residential, clinical, and academic. Through personal stories and observations, she also provides a valuable glimpse into each potential career path.
With features that include key points for each chapter and more than 20 stories to use for discussion, this instructive overview of the profession covers
- A brief history of gerontological social work and its origins
- Critical issues and challenges faced by older adults
- How social work addresses elder well-being, from mental health and substance abuse to living environments, family dynamics, economic resources, and more
- The ethical principles that guide this work
- Important aspects of diversity, including ethnicity, economic status, and gender identity
Useful as an introductory text for geriatric social work students and as a career guide for practicing professionals, this comprehensive look into the growing field of geriatric social work will encourage readers to choose this rewarding career path.