Chapter 7 older People

Chapter 7 older People - Introduction to Social Work...

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Introduction to Social Work Becoming a Change Agent Social Work Practice with People who are Older 1
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More than 35 million people in the United States are over the age of sixty-five. The vast majority of them are economically independent, active healthy and live in their own homes. 2
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Individuals over sixty-five are affected by ageist attitudes and some are directly discriminated against. Ageism is a prejudice against people based solely on age. 3
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Gerontology is the study of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging. 4
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Human Development within the Social Context Biological and Physiological Aspects of Aging Gerontological social workers need a basic knowledge of the functions of human physiology, including the circulatory, endocrine, respiratory, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, urinary, nervous, digestive, and reproductive systems. 5
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Human Development within the Social Context Biological and Physiological Aspects of Aging Normal aging of the body’s systems need not diminish quality of life. Social workers need to be aware of commonly used medications and of advances in pharmacology. Eighty percent of retirees use at least one prescription drug every day, and many take 3 to 10 different drugs. 6
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Human Development within the Social Context Cognitive Process and Emotional/Psychological Development Using theories of personality development social workers can help clients navigate stressful life events such as retirement, widowhood, physical decline, residential relocation, loss, and approaching death. Social workers need to know about factors that affect learning, intelligence, and memory as people age. 7
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Human Development within the Social Context Sociological Aspects of Aging Social workers must understand social roles and expectations and how they change as people age (e.g., marital roles, grandparenthood, sexual behavior). 8
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Human Development within the Social Context Sociological Aspects of Aging Activity theory proposes that the more active a person is, the more satisfied that person will be during his or her “golden years.” 9
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Social Context Sociological Aspects of Aging Disengagement theory, by contrast, asserts that to withdraw and become more introspective as one grows older is normal and healthy. 10
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Chapter 7 older People - Introduction to Social Work...

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