Geriatric Social Work – SOWK 432

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the knowledge, values, and skills associated with working with an older population of clients. Topics will include the effects of aging on physical, mental, emotional processes as well as socio-cultural, spiritual, and environmental considerations.

Prerequisites

SOWK 101 and SOWK 270

Rationale

As individuals transition from middle age to old age, social workers will be required to develop new and innovative approaches in working with this distinct population. This course aids the students in developing competency in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation when working with older adults. It prepares students with foundational knowledge and skills necessary for effective practice with older adults.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior (CSWE Competency 1)
    • Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, oral, written, and electronic communication on behalf of older clients with special attention to those who have limited decisional capacity.
    • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse of older adults and families using the process of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
    • Respect and promote older adults client's right to dignity and self-determination.
    • Integrate faith and practice through a process of ethical reasoning.
  2. Diversity (CSWE Competency 2)
    • Apply and communicate an understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in regard to aging.
    • Identify issues related to losses, changes, and transitions over their lifecycle in designing interventions.
  3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Environmental, and Economic Justice (CSWE Competency 3)
    • Use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes in geriatric practice.
    • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with older adults.
    • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate with service providers, community organizations, policymakers, and the public to meet the needs of the growing aging population.
  4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice (CSWE Competency 4)
    • Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery of social work practice and aging-related services.
    • Conduct a comprehensive geriatric assessment from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model using the client’s strengths and limitations.
  5. Engage in Policy Practice (CSWE Competency 5)
    1. Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, environmental justice, and health care policies with older adults.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 350-450 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150-250 words. The discussion board will assess Competency 1-Ethics/Prof. Behavior (values, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 2-Diversity (knowledge), Competency 3-Justice (values, knowledge, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 4-Research (knowledge), & Competency 5-Policy (knowledge, values, cognitive/affective processes).

Community Resources Project

The student will complete a  project specific to local resources within their community for older adults.  The student may choose to submit the project as a brochure, pamphlet, website, presentation, or paper. Each resource should include a definition of the service and how it serves older adults and/or family members.  Resources identified should address the continuum of care and discuss how each service is funded -i.e. self-pay, Medicare/Medicaid, and/or local/state taxes.  Regardless of the format the student chooses to submit, the project must include at least 4 references in current APA format, including the assigned text, and provide a detailed focus specific to how local churches have or will be able to aid in the community. This project will assess Competency 1-Ethics/Prof. Behavior (values, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 3-Justice (values, knowledge, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 4-Research (knowledge), & Competency 5-Policy (knowledge, values, cognitive/affective processes).

Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Assessment Paper

The student will complete a 3-5 page paper using the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of assessment.  The student will be required to interview an older family member - i.e. parent, grandparent, or great uncle/aunt, etc., over the age of 55 and complete an assessment using the model provided.  Particular emphasis must be placed on activities of daily living, spirituality, social functioning, and environmental safety.  The paper will assess Competency 1-Ethics/Prof. Behavior (values, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 2-Diversity (knowledge), Competency 3-Justice (values, knowledge, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 4-Research (knowledge), & Competency 5-Policy (knowledge, values, cognitive/affective processes).

Advance Directives Assignment

The student will complete and submit an Advanced Directive form found on the AARP website in order to alert medical professionals and his/her family to end-of-life treatment in the event that he/she is unable to make decisions himself/herself.  The assignment will assess Competency 1-Ethics/Prof. Behavior (values, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 2-Diversity (knowledge), Competency 3-Justice (values, knowledge, cognitive/affective processes), 5-Policy (knowledge, values, cognitive/affective processes).

Legislative Advocacy Paper

Using the Fact Sheet Template, the student will complete a 1-2 page paper identifying a current mezzo or macro issue that directly impacts older adults using at least 3.  Once complete, the student will locate a local representative and email the Fact Sheet to him/her in order to advocate for change.  The paper will assess Competency 1-Ethics/Prof. Behavior (values, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 2-Diversity (knowledge), Competency 3-Justice (values, knowledge, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 4-Research (knowledge), & Competency 5-Policy (knowledge, values, cognitive/affective processes).

Quizzes (7)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 15-minute time limit. The student will have 2 attempts to complete each quiz in the allotted time. The highest score will be calculated in the student’s grade. The quizzes will assess Competency 1-Ethics/Prof. Behavior (values, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 2-Diversity (knowledge), Competency 3-Justice (values, knowledge, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 4-Research (knowledge), & Competency 5-Policy (knowledge, values, cognitive/affective processes).

Final Exam

The Final Exam will cover the Reading and Study material for Modules/Weeks 1-8. This exam will contain 50 multiple-choice and true/false questions and have a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes. The student will have 2 attempts to complete each exam in the allotted time. The highest score will be calculated in the student’s grade. The final exam will assess Competency 1-Ethics/Prof. Behavior (values, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 2-Diversity (knowledge), Competency 3-Justice (values, knowledge, cognitive/affective processes), Competency 4-Research (knowledge), & Competency 5-Policy (knowledge, values, cognitive/affective processes).