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The Aging Boom: Is Your Clinical Practice Ready?

As the Baby Boom generation advances into retirement age, the number of adults 65 years old and over is expected to triple. The growing aging population will change many aspects of social work. Tell us about best online casino your experiences. What are

your biggest challenges? What do social workers n

eed to know?

NASW Annual Practice Conference
The Aging Boom: Is Your Clinical Practice Ready?

In conjunction with the ASA/NCOA Aging in America Conference
March 15-16, 2009 – Las Vegas, Nevada

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  1. In our organization there are a lot of challenges. So I guess it depends on what you mean and which aspects of social work we are talking about.

    Big Challenge 1: My co-workers are getting older and they make it pretty clear that they have no intention of doing things any differently than the way they did it 20 years ago. They might grudgingly use a computer when required, but they have no desire to improve their skills. On the other hand, they kind of hoard the skills they do have as though we “new kids” might try to take over.

    Big Challenge 2: Clients families are changing
    We do a lot of family work and it seems like in almost every case, either the grandparent requires taking care of or the grandparent is actually taking care of the kids because both parents have to work. Either way – seems that grandparents are involved. In the latter situation – it’s more of a headache. They are like my older co-workers. They are old so they know better – not willing to change. So they either spoil, or use inappropriate discipline like spanking. It’s hard to get through to them.

  2. Stephanie Costello

    I would enjoy this conference if it were on the east coast. Please consider running it again, maybe in a mini version in NYC, Philly (where I live) or Boston. I just can’t afford the travel right now but would like to attend this conference as I think it is very pertinent and timely for my practice and social work in general. Thanks

  3. This is for J English and the challenges presented. I hear your frustration but also I caution you to be careful with generalizations. If there is a way to find one or two co-workers who are flexible in one or two areas and offer to support them. Could be their resistance comes from feeling insecure about their skills or feeling threatened by younger workers’ skills / ideas. Some workplace politics exists everywhere regardless of age.
    With regard to the grandparents, my advice is to simply treat older adults as you would treat any adult. Let them know you are there to help and if they choose not to accept the help, then your ability to work with them is going to be limited. Offering choice and control makes a big difference in working with older clients, because society frequently tells them that their useful days are behind them. With particular attention to spanking, I might say something like, “You know, we don’t really spank anymore. It could be considered abuse and I would hate to have to report that. Can I give you a short list of other discipline techniques? Will you at least try one?” Usually you can get an older adult to agree with you if the request is manageable and reasonable. HANG IN THERE!

  4. I would have loved to have made the seminar,however if it would have been closer to the Michaigan area, awesome, Think about us.

  5. Marlienne Christian

    At 56 I know I will work through age 65 or better so in addition to considering the needs of aging clients, my keeping healthy is also a goal. Chronic illness affects the served and the server. Increasing one’s savvy about accessing resources through the computer and understanding how those resources can help our clients age in place with an uncompromised quality of life is an ongoing goal.

  6. I really wish NASW would have rethought this conference. The growing number of older adults and their families are going to need significantly more services than simply clinical social work services. For that to be the primary focus diminishes the importance of other areas of social work. Particularly for such a unique “client” as the older adult and his or her family.

  7. Will “Baby Boomers” be more accepting of counseling and therapy than the previous generation of “elders” ?
    My guess is, yes, and that may play a part in the future demand for services.