WK6 SOCW6210: The Aging Process

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Week 6: Biological Aspects of Later Adulthood

In 2011, the World Health Organization stated:

The world is on the brink of a demographic milestone. Since the beginning of recorded history, young children have outnumbered their elders. In about five years time, however, the number of people aged 65 or older will outnumber children under age 5. (p. 2)

As the world’s population ages, an understanding of issues and challenges related to aging is of paramount importance for individuals working in the helping professions. This week, you begin to explore the life-span phase Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman (2016) title “later adulthood.” You explore the biological changes aging individuals experience and consider how the environment might accelerate or decelerate the aging process. You also consider a topic of growing significance for social workers—end-of-life care.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Apply knowledge of aging to social work practice
  • Analyze the impact of the environment on aging
  • Evaluate strategies for applying knowledge of aging to social work practice
  • Analyze the role of social work practice in end-of-life care

Discussion: The Aging Process

As individuals grow older, they experience biological changes, but how they experience these changes varies considerably. Senescence, or the process of aging, “affects different people, and various parts of the body, at different rates” (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016, p. 658).

What factors affect the aging process? Why do some individuals appear to age faster than others? In this Discussion you address these questions and consider how, you, as a social worker, might apply your understanding of the aging process to your work with older clients.

To prepare for this Discussion, read “Working With the Aging: The Case of Francine” in Social Work Case Studies: Foundation Year.

Post a Discussion in which you:

  • Apply your understanding of the aging process to Francine’s case. How might Francine’s environment have influenced her aging process? How might you, as Francine’s social worker, apply your knowledge of the aging process to her case?
  • Identify an additional strategy you might use to apply your knowledge of the aging process to social work practice with older clients in general. Explain why you would use the strategy.

Must include 2 APA peer reviewed references including reference supplied

Reference

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

  • “Working With the Aging: The Case of Francine” (pp. 39–41)
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