5 Facts About End of Life Care-Carly Danowitz

  1. Frail elderly is a term used to identify a group of the elderly population with severe limitations in activities including walking speed, chronic exhaustion, weak grip strength, and declining activity levels. Many of the clients gerontological social workers work with are considered frail elderly. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 262)


  1. People of color have shown low utilization rate of mainstream healthcare and social services. It is very important for social workers to make sure that the elder care and other services they are referring their clients to are culturally relevant. In doing so, social workers should develop relationships with various religious organizations and ethnic social groups who can help coordinate services to elder people of color. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 269)


  1. Illnesses and disabilities in elderly people causes declines in functioning and can also limit a person’s ability to perform basic activities such as bathing and toileting, as well as independent activities in daily life including housework, money management, and meal preparation. About 1/3 of elderly Americans have a severe disability, and as age increases, the risks from these disabilities increase as well. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 272)


  1. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons, its estimated that 34 million caregivers in the United States provide unpaid caregiving to people over the age 50. These caregivers are commonly the elderly person’s spouse, children, or children-in-law. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 279)


  1. State adult protective services are extremely important, especially because some older adults are emotionally or physically abused or financially exploited by caretakers, their family, and others. When the elderly person cannot care for him or herself and are unwilling to receive assistance from others is considered self-neglect. The adult protective services employs social workers to investigate these cases, and when warranted, take actions to secure services needed by these people. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 281)



DiNitto, D., & McNeece, C. (2008). Social work: Issues and opportunities in a challenging profession (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.


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