Gerontologi cai Social Work Practice in the Community. George S. Getzel, and M. Joanna Mellor, (eds). New York, The Haworth Press Ine, 1985, 274 pages, hardcover.
This text is timely in that it addresses the complexities of situations facing the older population and discusses the practice of gerontological social work in the community setting. This book would be useful to social workers, social work students, and gerontological nurses. The editors are leaders in their field and have compiled an impressive assortment of papers in this volume beginning with theories and themes of practice, and continuing with perceptions and distortions regarding aging that are pervasive and contribute to the problems of aging in America.
The authors identify several subgroups within the older population, such as the mentally retarded, the blind, alcoholics, holocaust survivors, and the chronically mentally frail and disabled. The characteristics and needs of each subgroup are identified, and clinical interventions such as stabilization, linkage, and group services are outlined. A chapter on dealing with depression, loneliness, and emotional stresses in later life offers practical innovations.
Other article topics include understanding normative growth and development and strengths of the aged, a systems approach to working with the aged and their families, a protective services research demonstration program, community outreach services, roles of the social worker in senior centers and in the union setting working with retirees, using the aged volunteer, the therapeutic use of writing and reminiscing, and a model of housing for the frail elderly with supportive services provided.
The expertise of 20 contributors have made this text valuable to the workers in the field. It fosters an understanding of the needs of a very diverse older population and addresses policy and practice issues in the community setting.