A new course in School of Social Work at IUC. There are many issues in social work that our courses do not cover. We decided to cover this gap and provide an opportunity for discussions of the topics otherwise neglected: old age. If the course will generate the interest we will keep it in the future.
Demographic changes are of significant interest to social work. The issue of old age has shifted from being a marginal concern in the middle of the 20th century, to be of central importance for social work in this century. The specific nature of social work lies in transversal understanding of older people, their needs, and in the assertion of the user as a partner in the helping process. Social workers should have knowledge about the aging process, social policies concerned with older people and various practical approaches and methods. They also need to possess various professional skills such as the ability to communicate, make decisions, and participate in multi-disciplinary teams. To be able to determine the situation of an old age person, they need to have specific knowledge for assessment of an older person’s psychological, emotional, cognitive and social abilities, the verification of his or her ability for self-care, the identification of an older person’s strengths and the strengths of their environment as well as potential obstacles in an otherwise supportive environment. Older people must be seen in the context of the communities to which they belong, either geographically or as communities of interest. This year we will focus on presentation the pallet of methods and skills in the field of social work with older people.