• Supporting Clients

    Posted on December 22nd, 2008

    Written by Jaimie

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    The Definition of Geriatric Social Work

    What is Geriatric Social Work? Not only is it important to understand what it is but where it is and how it is needed. Although what each Geriatric Social Worker does is very unique, there is one unifying factor. Each Geriatric Social Worker’s focus is on the bio-psychosocial well being of the older adult. This could be accomplished through advocacy in Washington, DC, case management at the local senior center, intake at the Geri Psych unit in the hospital, or in the Activities department at a nursing home. Geriatric Social Workers are social workers who’s main focus is understanding not only the physical complications of aging, but mental health and social/environmental attributes of aging as well.

    Like all social workers, Geriatric Social Workers work with not just the individual, but also the family and community at large. Often a Geriatric Social Worker’s clients may be individuals who are not necessarily “old” but are dealing with issues related to aging. It could be the middle aged overwhelmed caregiver of a 95 year old widow or the family who does not know what to do now that Dad (age 70) has a diagnosis of dementia. In order to improve the well being of an elder, often family members and community leaders are the client of the Geriatric Social Worker. In other words, the Geriatric Social Worker is charged to work with the whole system of the Older Adult client.

    What Qualifications are needed for a Geriatric Social Worker? Geriatric Social Workers often have a Masters in Social Work with either a focus in their studies on aging, or/and a Licensed Social Worker or Clinical Social Work with a couple years of training working with older adult clients. Although there is not a specific license for Geriatric Social Work, the Geriatric Social Work Initiative is currently working to improve Social Work interest, understanding of aging issues, and training; particularly within the student population.

    Below are some of the few places you may find a Geriatric Social Worker.

    Nursing Home: Administrator; Admissions; Case Managers; Social Service Coordinator or Director; Activities Department Coordinator or Director; Counselor

    Assisted Living Facility: Intake or Admissions; Case Manager; Activities Coordinator

    Independent Residential Facility for 55+: Case Manager; Counseling; Social Service Director/Coordinator; Admissions Coordinator; Building Manager

    Hospital: Case Manager inpatient or outpatient; Geri Psych unit,

    Outpatient diagnostic or Rehabilitation Center: Case Manager; Counseling; Crisis worker; Educational Specialist; Research Coordinator.

    Health Related Non-Profit: Administrator or Manager of a Program(s); Education of Public, Professionals, and/or Clients; Advocacy related work; Research related work, Case Management; Counselor.

    Area Agency on Aging/Senior Center: Case Manager; Support Group Facilitator; Activities Director; Abuse Assessment.

    Mental Health Agency: Case Manager; Counselor; Outreach Advocate

    Caregiving For-Profit Agency: Care Manager; Marketing Coordinator; Intake Assessment

    If you know of any other places you may find a Geriatric Social Worker make a comment! There are so many places you could find one!!!

    This entry was posted on Monday, December 22nd, 2008 at 4:45 pm and is filed under Supporting Clients. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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