Geriatic Social Worker Career Information, Jobs, Degrees & Training Programs

In 20 years, it's projected that the population of people aged 65 or older will increase by 50 percent. However, there are currently not enough geriatric specialists to attend to the needs of this growing population. You'll make a huge impact in the lives of many people by working as a geriatric social worker.

Geriatric social workers assist elderly people, so they can live fuller lives and effectively handle emotional and physical problems associated with aging. They also empower elderly people to live independently, cope with stress, and solve relationship problems.

Geriatric social workers are assigned various duties and work in an array of environments. However, many decide to specialize, and a majority of these specialists exclusively conduct evaluation work. Evaluative specialists conduct interviews at senior citizen centers, social services agencies, convalescent centers, or medical clinics to determine what types of assistance their clients require. After evaluations, they determine whether their clients require nurses to assistant them at home, transportation assistance, or related services. With some minor assistance, many elderly people are able to live independently, but geriatric social workers often refer clients to assisted living facilities. These specialists are taught how to determine whether clients are aging normally, and if irregularities are recognized, they frequently refer them to physicians specializing in human aging. Geriatric social workers also consult with families deciding whether to place loved ones in assisted care facilities.

Geriatric social workers also address behavioral and emotional problems. In many cases, elderly individuals struggle with loneliness, so geriatric social workers get them involved with social and activity groups. Some geriatric social workers exclusively assist elderly individuals struggling with mental health disorders. They're usually authorized to administer anxiety and depression alleviation therapy. Elderly individuals living independently often consult with social workers to learn more about public assistance programs. In some cases, they assist elderly people fill out paper work and resolve disputes with government agencies. Geriatric social workers also help their clients find jobs, retirement communities, and other services.

Some geriatric social workers develop and organize assistance programs for the elderly and manage agencies or non-profit groups.

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