1. Robert and Beth, thank you for your comments. There is no denying that ageism adversely affects middle-aged and older adults across occupations, including social work. Age-related employment discrimination is inconsistent with the NASW Code of Ethics; Sections 3.09(e), 4.02, and 6.04(d) of the Code specifically address discrimination. The NASW policy statement, “Aging and Wellness” (available in the NASW Press volume Social Work Speaks), also addresses this topic.

  2. Older Americans Month permits us to focus on services and resources available (or not) to our older population. Great, but there is a topic regarding older citizens not being addressed….
    As an encore-career, recently relocated, LCSW, I have found it interesting/frustrating to learn first-hand that though social workers are trained to work with older clients, older social workers, themselves, are victims of ageism in the employment market.
    In researching this topic: ageism in social work, all I could unearth was off-topic: info regarding how social workers may be of assistance to their older clients.
    It seems that the Social Work Community looks out on a world needing support, while not gazing inward, assessing how (or if) the profession welcomes older potential-colleagues.

    • Robert,

      Thank you for your insightful post! NASW does need to focus inward to advance the profession and advocate for its members. Ageism is rampant in the employment market and we need to establish better outcomes which will help us market ourselves.

  3. You can help the ever-growing aging population in America, who live alone in social isolation. The services of LessAlone.org focus on alleviating the sad situations of isolationism among millions in our nation (and present in every community). LAO membership is free, and helps to insure the safety and well-being for those cut off from necessary social networks. Many need assistance to register. Visit us on facebook at ‘lessalone’.

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