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What does excellent social work with older people look like?

Many older individuals face tough decisions in a complex and commercial care market and deserve social worker support

Added Date: Yesterday

You might have seen the recent poll which showed that 40% of over-85s prefer to be described as “real seniors” rather than as “elderly” or “pensioners”. It underlines the pace at which demographics are changing. The number of people in this age group is expected to increase by 50% by 2030.

There are now whole generations within the population traditionally referred to as older people, so their needs and aspirations are as wide-ranging as those of any other social group. A socially isolated 65-year-old with multiple health problems will require more support than an active nonagenarian with strong social and family networks.

This is one of the starting points for a discussion paper published today by the College of Social Work – where I am chair of the adults faculty – in a bid to define what excellent social work with older people looks like.

Many older individuals can face difficult life decisions in an increasingly complex, and largely commercial, care service...

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