Social Work Practice with the Elderly Population
The aging population in the United States provides numerous challenges. These challenges are social, economic, and political, and they affect social workers and the nation. Social workers understand that old age is a new phase of life that is characterized by continued growth. Older people still have to provide for their families. In other situations old individuals depend on their families to care for and support them (Adamek, 2005). Besides, older people face numerous biophysical challenges that are often characterized by failing health and physical disabilities. They also experience decreased economic security, increased vulnerability to abuse, and loss of social roles. Such people require help from society to help them feel included and recognized as productive members of the society. Social workers are trained and well equipped to help such people achieve a balanced quality of life. Social workers provide care and support for old people (Crampton, 2011). In some cases, social workers become an older person’s new family. Some older people are abandoned by their and may feel depressed. Social workers have to develop mechanisms of preventing such events from happening (Graham, Bradshaw, & Trew, 2009). However, social work is not easy. Social workers encounter challenges that make their work strenuous and stressful. In this respect, this paper seeks to analyze the dynamics of social work in a geriatric unit.
Geriatric Social work entails working with older patients that are on the brink of life. Some of the older people suffer from debilitating illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer. Such illnesses present challenges to social workers whose main goal is to promote and enhance the quality of life for older people and their families (Kerr, Gordon, MacDonald, & Stalker, 2011). Social works also have to ensure the well-being of the families of the older persons. In this respect, social workers have to be skilled in understanding the environment in which they work. Understanding a social worker’s environment entails knowing the mental and physical health problems that plague older people. Additionally, one has to understand how these problems are affected economic, social, and environmental factors. Social workers work with the families of older people and are, therefore, often involved in complex decision-making situations such as the move to a care home (Milne, et al., 2012). As such, they have to be equipped to make informed decisions and help resolve any conflicts that might arise between and older individual and his or her family……………..
Therefore, social workers have an important and proactive role to play in the community. Older people do not need social workers because they are old. Social workers have to maintain an older person’s social engagement, good health, and well-being. Social workers have to act as a bridge between the older person and the outside world. They work to promote the well-being of older people through provisions of care. Social work entails understanding the needs of the older persons and attending to them promptly. Additionally, one has to work with other health institutions and advice older persons and their families for the best health-related solutions for the older person’s problems. Care should be person centered on making clients feel part of the solution. The collaborations with other stakeholders in the health industry allow the social workers to coordinate health care across various health systems and facilitate family support. In this manner, the social workers navigate the client and resource challenges. The skills of social workers help promote relationships that maximize opportunities for older people to continue living as part of family and communities. These are important in ensuring older people have a good quality of life and well-being. The interview provided useful insights on working with older people and in a different cultural setting. Notably, the interview reveals the need to understand the culture of the Hispanic people and how to interact with them. This factor is best understood through the adoption of the anti-oppressive model and the model of cultural competence. Effective social work also requires empathy and genuine care for older persons…