The Top 5 Older Adults FAQs

What do social workers in the older adults field do?

– They provide information and give referrals, do discharge planning following hospitalization, case management, counseling, protective services in cases of elder neglect and abuse, educational and recreational services, and advocacy. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 263)


What is the demand for social workers in the older adults field?

– There is an increased demand for social workers in this field because older adults make up about 12% of the US population. Also, the demand is so strong because there is a shortage of social workers currently working in this field. This is partly due to the fact that this field isn’t encouraged in social work educational programs because many instructors lack interest and training in this field. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 266)

How are the health-care needs of older adults being met?

– “About 1/3 of older Americans have a severe disability, and the risk rises sharply with age.” Falls are the leading cause of disability and injury among older adults, and many older people die as a result of injuries obtained from a fall. Cancer, diabetes, 3d awkward falling ouch stairsand heart disease are major causes of death among older Americans as well. In order to meet the needs of these older adults, social workers help them communicate with their doctors, about their health care. Social workers need to have an extensive knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid programs as well in order to best meet the needs of their elder clients. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pgs. 272-273)

What are some of the mental health issues that are associated with olddepression depressed self loathing sad charlie browner adults?

– The most common mental health problem that affects older adults is depression. About 8-20% of older adults living in the general community suffer from some form of depression. Also on a some what related note, an estimated 17% of older adults abuse alcohol or prescription medications. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pgs. 277-278)

What is adult protective services?

“Some older adults are physically or emotionally abused or financially exploited by family, caretakers, or others.” Also, self-neglect is another big thing that occurs when an older adult can no longer take care of his or herself or is not willing to receive assistance from others. Adult protective services is a program that helps meet the critical needs of older adults. It often employs social workers to investigate these kinds of cases and take action by securing needed services if conditions call for it. (DiNittto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 281)




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



Some of the “Did you Knows” About Mental Health

Did you know…

  • “46% of all Americans experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime.” The most common mental disorders are impulse control disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 145)
  • Mental disorder, mental illness, and mental health, are all terms that vary in concept as a result of cultural norms, values, and research criteria. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 145)
  • “A DSM diagnosis requires that the mental disorder cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 145)
  • Depression as the result of personal loss is a temporary acute problem, whereas bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and certain other types of depression are chronic and termed serious mental disorders (SMI). (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 146)
  • “5-7% of adults have SMI, and 5-9% of children have a serious emotional disturbance.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 147)
  • Social workers that work in public mental health agencies primarily work with individuals that have SMI. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 147)
  • In the mental health field, social workers hold many different positions in different mental health practice locations such as emergency psychiatric services, residential programs, hospitals, day programs, and outpatient services. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 152) 
  • “Half of mental disorders manifest by age 14, and three-quarters by age 24.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 153)pizza
  • Children with histories of physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse, running away from home, sexually abusing others, or family violence are at a higher risk for having a mental disorder. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 153)running forrest gump run away go go go movies
  • Case management, strength-based services, motivational interviewing, evidence-based treatment, and family psychoeducation are the most common direct services provided by a social worker in the mental health field. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 157)


  • With the urging of congress, a number of states have adopted a bill for the rights of those with mental health disorders. The specifics of these rights are “the right to appropriate treatment, the right to an individualized treatment plan, the right to refuse treatment, the right to freedom from restraint and seclusion, the right to maintain the confidentiality of one’s records, the right to see one’s records, and the right to file a grievance.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 165-166)


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






10 Fun Facts About Social Work & Disabilities

  1. Disability is no longer focused on just mental retardation, and its broadening description allows for social workers to have more of a positive impact on both individuals with disabilities and the field itself. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 217)gifnews positive artists on tumblr fox animation domination
  2. The World Health Organization considers a disability to be any restriction or lack of ability to perform a activity in the manner or within the range considered to be normal for a human being. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 217)
  3. There are other definitions of disability floating around as well. For example, social workers Romel Mackelprang and Richard Salsgiver define disability with an emphasis on social and environmental problems, instead of just individual problems. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 217).love professor environmental science environmental go green
  4. “The term developmental disabilities began appearing in federal legislation in 1970.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 218)dancing vintage 1970s soul train
  5. The oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization that’s concern is mental retardation is the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 219)
  6. The diagnosis of mental retardation used to be determined by a categorical system based on IQ, however over the decades it has evolved to a more functional system that depends on the levels of support needed by an individual. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 219)                                                                                                   
  7. “A child is diagnosed with autism every twenty minutes!” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 220)
  8. The history of the development of social work progressed parallel with the history of services to people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities until the 1950s. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 221)
  9. The behavioral model, crisis intervention, case management, advocacy, strengths model, empowerment, and independent living are all practice models that may be used by a social worker who practices in the field of disabilities and mental retardation. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 224-227)
  10. Working in the disability field a lot of times ethical dilemmas arise and a social workers are great tools for helping to diffuse the situation. Many times the ethical dilemma that arises is a decision about life and a social worker helps these people faced with right to life and right to die decisions. They provide support and information to help families and expecting parents to consider their options when dealing with a pregnancy that has the potential to produce a child with a disability. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 231)choices new girl zooey deschanel decisions its me



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


Many families are impacted by child welfare every day. Family engagement is a huge part of preventing child welfare. Parents should be involved in every step of the way in a child’s life. If there is good family engagement there is a less likely of a chance that the family will be impacted by child welfare and have to interact with services such as CPS and face other problems causing their family to be broken apart. (Luann Kida, Guest Speaker, 3/24/16)

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Many kids who are in need of child welfare usually results from trauma or abuse that they are facing at home. As a result of this trauma many of these kids develop impulse control issues. A child who is facing abuse at home may demonstrate lack of impulse control when interacting with another child. A situation could be if a child taps another child to get their attention and the child being tapped faces abuse at home will impulsively react and possibly punch the other child. (Luann Kida, Guest Speaker, 3/24/16)

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Children who are put into the welfare system face a lot of hardships at times and unfortunately even though they are being removed from their homes for protection sometimes they end up in places through the system that aren’t much better. A lot of times many children who are removed from their homes are shuffled around from place to place, and foster home to foster home. (Know How, 2014, Film)

Children who are entered into the welfare system are usually from abusive and neglectful homes, poverty and maltreatment are present, there is a lack of healthcare, or a custody battle is occurring. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pgs. 239-243)

Many children of the welfare system also end up functioning as parents to their younger siblings or becoming teen parents most likely like their parents. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pgs. 241-242)

Social work has been known to have a long history with helping children and families, and social workers in the field of child welfare are constantly working every day to help. The main goal of a social worker is to shield children from neglect and abuse, but also work to help strengthen families in trouble for a better future. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pgs. 239)



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

Luann Kida, LMSW, Guest Speaker, 3/24/16.

Pineiro, J. C. (Director). (2014). Know How [Motion picture]. United States.

Social Work and the Forgotten Field of Substance Use and Abuse

Approximately 9% of the US population meets the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol and substance abuse –> This statistic shows that it is rare to come across a social worker who has never experienced a case dealing with substance abuse. (Straussner, 2012, pg. 127)

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Ironically, in turns out that even though social workers have been working with substance abuse populations since the start of the profession, social workers tend to receive the least amount of training in the field of substance use and abuse. (SW250, Class PowerPoint, 3/15/16)

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A big reason for the lack of training seems to be related to the stigmatism that is attached to both abusers and the field itself. In fact, many social work students are afraid to enter into this field as a result. However, there was and still are social workers that are going against the social gradient, and are working to minimize this stigma that is placed on addicts, their families, and the field of substance use and abuse. (Straussner, 2012, pg. 128)

As early as 1917 one woman, Mary Richmond, who is known as the one of the “mothers of social work” did fight the stigma! (Straussner, 2012, pg. 128)

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Despite the stigmatism, many social workers spend their careers working to make a difference for their clients in the field of substance use and abuse. One environment social workers working with substance abuse can be found is in hospitals. (SW250, Class PowerPoint, 3/15/16)

Social workers in the field of substance use and abuse are faced with the responsibility of diagnosing clients/patients, and then working with them to get help with overcoming their addiction. (SW250, Class PowerPoint, 3/15/16)

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Making a diagnosis can be hard for social workers because usually there are other complicating factors that are involved. Many times it is hard to tell the difference between substance abuse symptoms and mental illness symptoms. Also, many abusers are either in denial about their addiction, or they have become very good at hiding their struggles with addiction. (SW250, Class PowerPoint, 3/15/16)

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In order to make these difficult diagnoses, a social worker will use a CIWA Scale and CAGE 4 Questions as blueprints for diagnosing clients/patients that seem to present with symptoms related to substance abuse. (SW250, Class PowerPoint, 3/15/16).

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Straussner, S. (2012). Clinical Treatment of Substance Abusers: Past, Present and Future. Clinical Social Work Journal Clin Soc Work J, 40, 127-133.

SW250 Lecture, PowerPoint, 3/15/16


Inside Military Social Work

  • The VA is the number one employer for social work, employing 11,000 social workers. (SW250 Class PowerPoint 3/8/16)

  • Military social workers address things that fall in all types of social work fields, however the work they do is specialized towards veterans. (SW250 Class PowerPoint, 3/8/16)HBO soldiers band of brothers hbo now veterans day
  • Military life is basically a mini town that is provided by the government, and social workers are present in this community to help veterans cope and deal with the many things they are faced with. For example, many social workers are known to work with active single duty parents, many who tend to be women, and help them to do the best they can in their situation. (SW250 Class PowerPoint, 3/8/16)

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  • Many veterans suffer from PTSD and other issues as a result of their service and social workers are there to help them cope. For example, many veterans suffer from what are called triggers. A trigger can be anything from a sight, a smell, a feeling, or a dream and it brings you back to the source of the trauma. (Connie Studgeon, Guest Lecture, 3/10/16)90s friends depression tv shows phoebe
  • “Pain doesn’t have to be cranked up to the highest volume,” exercises and alternative solutions are very helpful for coping with trauma. Today phone apps can help veterans track there PTSD triggers, give them breathing exercises to calm them down, and help them cope with their trauma. (Connie Studgeon, Guest Lecture, 3/10/16)


  • Military social workers also work with family members of veterans. Secondary PTSD is a common thing that is seen among spouses of veterans, and it can be just as damaging and impactful to a relationship or family as PTSD could be. (Connie Studgeon, Guest Lecture, 3/10/16)

  • Military social work can be seen all over the world in many different countries. It may not be called military social work, their processes may differ slightly, and they might have different end goals, but overall they are trying to accomplish similar things. (Daley, 2003, pg. 443)

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Connie Studgeon, Guest Speaker, 3/10/16.

Daley, James G. (2003). Military social work: A multi-country comparison. International Social Work, 46(4), 437-448.

SW250 Class Lecture, PowerPoint, 3/8/16.

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10 Things About Social Work in Health Care

  1. The American Hospital Associations reortd that there are social work services being provided in 75% of their hospitals. (SW250 Class PowerPoint, 3/1/16)
  2. The number of health care social workers in 2013 was 141,000. (SW250 Class PowerPoint, 3/1/16)what omg shocked wut wat
  3. Early roles of a social worker in the medical field consisted of assisting patients with chronic disease management, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, terminal conditions, physical disabilities, and accessing extended care services. (Judd and Sheffield, 2010, pg. 857)
  4. Decentralization, devolution, standardization of care, cross-training, and the forces with in reengineering negatively impacted the social worker’s function within a hospital system. (Judd and Sheffield, 2010, pg. 858)negative movies humans sci fi planet of the apes
  5. As a result of decentralization, hospital social workers were forced to compete for positions in which they used to normally fill. (Judd and Sheffield, 2010, pg. 858)my body is ready grad school social work eat it sucka im running toward financial solvency
  6. Ida Cannon was the first person to be identified as a medical social worker. (DiNitto and McNeece, 2008, pg. 193)
  7. Medical social work incorporates the biopsychosocial model, a strengths perspective, and a multilevel practice. These are three theoretical perspectives that make up the foundation of all social work practices. (DiNitto and McNeece, 2008, pg. 200)angry spongebob squarepants strong muscles strength
  8. “One-third of U.S. adults do not have adequate health literacy to manage their health care needs.” Medical social workers are very important as they help those who have low health literacy. (Liechty, 2011. pg. 99)
  9. “One of the most important developments for social workers in health care was the Health Maintenance Organization Act of l973.”(SW250 Class PowerPoint, 3/1/16)
  10. Medical social work was defined as a specific type of social case work that focused on the relationship between disease and social maladjustment. Social workers were given the job of “providing some occupation or experience for the person jolted out of his regular plan of life by chronic disease, to offset what he has lost and to make him feel that he has still a useful place in the world.” (SW250 Class PowerPoint, 3/1/16)



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

Judd, R., & Sheffield, S. (2010). Hospital Social Work: Contemporary Roles and Professional Activities. Social Work in Health Care, 49(9), 856-871. doi:10.1080/00981389.2010.499825

Liechty, Janet M. (2011). Health literacy: Critical opportunities for social work leadership in health care and research.(Report).Health and Social Work, 36(2), 99

SW250 Class Lecture, PowerPoint, 3/1/16



Can You Make it Living on the Streets?

Do you have what it takes to make it on the streets? Living your entire life looked down upon, unseen, and unheard? Did you know that about 3 million people of the U.S population are estimated to be homeless, and for some living a life on the street is their reality?


  1. Did you know…Many people who are living on the streets are uneducated and can’t read or write.


  1. Did you know …Many homeless people go to DSS to try to make a change a get off the streets?


  1. Did you know…Many of those who go to DSS are then sent to homeless shelters, many of which have such horrible conditions people end up leaving after a few nights? In some places there are cases where people die almost every day.


  1. Did you know …If you are homeless and decide to find a place to stay underground, there are many things that are MUST DOS, such as making sure you have a light on you at all times, waiting for a rainy day to pick a spot to stay in order to check for leaks, always having a way out that is different from the way in, and anything that you may need can be found in the garbage.


  1. Did you know …When living underground a huge thing to remember is to not leave food lying around because even the smallest amount of food left will attract rats?

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  1. Did you know …Anyone at any time can become homeless?!
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Landowne Y. & Horton, A. (2008). Pitch black. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.


THE JUSTICE SYSTEM BEHIND BARS: 10 Shocking Facts About the Prison System Today!

  • “7.2 million Americans are under some form of correctional supervision.” (SW250 Class Lecture 2/16/16)correct tv friends
  • From 1972 to 2010, the prison population has increased from 300,000 prisoners to 2.3 million prisoners just in the United States alone. (Jones and Mauer, 2013, Pg. 15)

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  • 66% of people who are released from prison and do not receive re-entry services go back to prison. (Jeff Pryor, 2016, Guest Lecture)

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  • Homelessness is a big part of the lives of those incarcerated. A major proportion of individuals who were incarcerated reported being homeless and poor before they were sent to prison. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, Pg. 313)

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  • If you do not enter prison with a substance abuse, by the time you get out you are most likely leaving with one. “Almost 70% of state prisoners report histories of regular drug use.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, Pg. 313) (SW250 Class Lecture 2/16/16)

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  • The idea of total institution is implemented in many areas like the military and prisons. The main purpose of total institution is to instill superior and inferior ideals and strip those inferior of their identities. (SW250 Class Lecture 2/16/16)

  • “The lifetime likelihood of going to prison is 28% for black men, 16% for Hispanic men, and just over 4% for white men.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, Pg. 312)

  • Over 70% of women leave behind children when they go to prison, and about 6% of them are pregnant when they enter prison. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, Pg. 313)

  • Mental illness is a big problem in prions all over the United States. “About 16% of male and 23% of female jail inmates have been identified as mentally ill.” The increasing amount of inmates that are mentally ill shows a trend that prisons are becoming the new insane asylums. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, Pg. 312) (SW250 Class Lecuture 2/16/16)

  • Individuals who are incarcerated, unfortunately due to the unfair prison system, are basically set up to fail when it comes to time for their parole or probation. (John Oliver, 2015)



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

SW250 Class Lecture on 2/16/16.

Oliver, John.(2015).”Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison Re-entry (HBO) Last Week”.

Jones, S., & Mauer, Marc. (2013). Race to incarcerate a graphic retelling. New York: The New Press.

Guest Lecture with Jeff Pryor on 2/18/16.


>IPV stands for Intimate Partner Violence, and it is a very real thing. It can be characterized as the exertion of power and control of one person onto to another.  (SW250 PowerPoint Lecture 2/9/2016)

>Many people when they think of IPV only the physical abuse comes to mind. IPV can come in many different forms, however the scars left behind by some of these forms are not always visible.  (SW250 PowerPoint Lecture 2/9/2016)

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>Women are not the only victims of IPV, and men aren’t the only assailants. Victims of IPV come in all shapes and sizes. They can be men, women, old, young, adolescents, heterosexuals, and members of the LGBTQ community.  (SW250 PowerPoint Lecture 2/9/2016)

>In all IPV relationships there is a general cycle that applies. First the relationship starts off in a honeymoon phase. Then minor incidents begin to occur and the relationship moves into the tension-building phase. After, the abuse and tensions escalate even more and the relationship enters the explosive phase. The last phase of the cycle is reconciliation, which leads to the inevitable vicious cycle that is an IPV relationship. (SW250 PowerPoint Lecture 2/9/2016)

>In the United States, women from ages 16-24 are the most vulnerable to IPV. They tend to know the least about domestic violence and its warning signs and patterns, and are therefore three times more likely to become victims of domestic violence. (Steiner, TED Talk, 2012)

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>Many people always ask the question of IPV victims; why did she stay? Many victims of IPV are strong individuals who stay because they feel they are the only ones who can help fix this person they love so much. Other reasons people in IPV relationships stay are out of fear, love, and most often because of children.  (Moylan, 2/11/2016, Guest Lecture)
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>”Over 70% percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she has gotten out.” (Steiner, TED Talk, 2012)



(Leslie Morgan Steiner, TED Talk, “Why domestic violence victims don’t leave”, 2012)

(Carrie Moylan, Guest Lecture, 2/11/2016)

(SW250 PowerPoint Lecture 2/9/2016)