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Calls for social work with elderly to be improved

10th April 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A study published by The College of Social Work has declared that the state of specialist social work with older people must be reversed to meet the demands of an ageing population. Mobility aids in conjunction with home and specialist care can work towards providing a more independent way of life and while the technology of stair lifts and aids are coming on leaps and bounds to cater for the UK’s aging population, as this study shows, it is specialist social care that needs attention.

The study, Social work with older people: a vision for the future, was composed by a total of eight academics and details the need to revive gerontological practice, or the study of the social, psychological and biological effects of aging. With the increasing number of people living to an older age in the country, there is a higher need for more to be done to revive this kind of social care.

Research for the future

The academics come from a number of prestigious universities and institutions across the UK and are all specialised in older people’s social work. The study suggests that in a move to improve social work with older people there needs to be a return to the specialist branch of the profession in gerontological social work. This type of social work will improve knowledge and understanding of the ageing process itself, as well as health and end of life issues.

While contemporary social workers are skilled at recognising both mental and physical issues, such as recommending stair lift installation in the home or identifying the onset of depression, more needs to be done to improve social work so that it caters for the increasing range of social issues that affect elderly residents in the country.

While it is hoped that there will be an increased focus on gerontological social work following the publication of this academic study, ensuring home life and daily tasks are as accessible as possible through the installation of Handicare mobility aids can revolutionise daily life. Bathroom assistance such as level access walk in showers is another way in which Handicare can help with the maintenance of independence alongside current social care practices.

Image Credit: asbruff (flickr.com)