Older People, Ageing and Social Work: Knowledge for Practice

Older People, Ageing and Social Work: Knowledge for Practice

Older People, Ageing and Social Work: Knowledge for Practice

Older People, Ageing and Social Work: Knowledge for Practice

Synopsis

A systematic and research-based introduction to social work practice with older people
The reality of our aging population means all social workers need to be confident in working with older people. Social workers are engaged in ongoing practice with older people in a variety of contexts, from hospitals, aged care assessment teams, and mental health services to employment services, housing services, and rehabilitation services. Older People, Ageing and Social Work draws on theoretical, research, policy, and practice knowledge to inform contemporary practice with older people. Hughes and Heycox demonstrate that high level professional skills are required in this area as well as detailed knowledge of the issues affecting older people's lives. They argue that practitioners need to take into account the social and emotional needs of the older people they work with, as well as the practical and administrative aspects of their roles. They emphasize understanding the diversity of the older population and enabling older people to make the most of their strengths and capacities.

Excerpt

This book arises from our experience working together at the University of New South Wales, including our experience researching issues related to social work practice with older people. Both of us have lengthy practice backgrounds in working with older people, and have greatly appreciated the importance and rewards of this area of practice. We have a shared commitment to acknowledging the diversity of older people, and their strengths and resilience.

Over the years, we have been concerned that professionals, managers and academics do not always appreciate the complexity and potential of social work practice with older people. It is sometimes seen as low status, and is not always well supported or appropriately resourced by health and human service agencies. Ageist attitudes and practices, apparent among professionals just as they are throughout the rest of the community, remain barriers to effective practice in this area.

In this book, we aim to make accessible to social workers core knowledge, with accompanying practice implications, for work with older people and ageing. And we hope the book will enable social workers and their employing organisations to consider more fully the potential of social work practice with older people.

Many people have inspired us and provided assistance along the way. We would both like to acknowledge the support and friendship of colleagues at the University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland. In particular we want to acknowledge the support of Lesley Hughes, Michael Wearing, Jill Wilson and Cheryl Tilse. Karen wishes to acknowledge valuable reflections and resource . . .

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