SWK4100EN - Casework Practice with Older Adults

Course description

This course is upper level, affording participants rich discussions, role plays, experience in interviewing seniors, identification of real-time community and family resources, creating an assessment and care plan. Students will engage with application of theories and strategies learned in prerequisite courses.

How this course benefits students

Aging is often seen by younger individuals as a season of decline. Casework practice with elderly persons must focus on strengths, assets, potentials, doing old things in new ways. This approach is shown to be effective in prevention and intervention, though requires well-honed skills. Casework may come in the form of specific agency work (e.g., eldercare/elder abuse reports and care management [ombudsman], establishing legal competency or incompetence). The world’s older population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Today, 8.5 percent of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over. According to a new report, “An Aging World: 2015,” this percentage is projected to jump to nearly 17 percent of the world’s population by 2050 (1.6 billion). People are living longer, but that does not necessarily mean that they are living healthier. The increase in our aging population presents many opportunities and also several public health challenges that we need to prepare for.

Why this course is important

This course focuses on the application of knowledge to real-life experience. Multiple renditions of that application in the world creates the transformation in the professional role and the recipient outcome.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Social Work
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Debra Newell, Distinguished Professor of Gerontology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

1 Thessalonians 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, Hebrews 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Modern western culture does not always subscibe to the biblical and more eastern cultural practices of revering the elderly for their wisdom and considering that ongoing great value.

Missionally driven

Case management in various cultures will vary considerably, depending upon custom, community resources or not. Regardless, care of the elderly and case management thereof is biblical.

Contextually informed

The cultural, language, social, health context of the person’s life, history, wishes must be considered in an ethical and moral way.

Interculturally focused

We live in a global society, regardless of the geographic placement. Each person will be serving many cultures. Additionally, many families are multicultural, so one is dealing with intercultural issues within the context of case management of one person.

Practically minded

Case management teaching and application must be practical

Experientially transformed

that is the art of the professional role.