Exploration of a Field of Practice within Social Work: Elder Abuse
Exploration of a Field of Practice within Social Work: Elder Abuse
Social work is a certified and scholastic discipline that seeks to advance the well-being of an individual and the quality of life in a community. Social workers are able to achieve their goal through crisis intervention, direct practice, research, human rights and policies. In the study of social work, professionals use fields of practice in order to get a better understanding of the course such as addictions, justice, medical and healthcare, youth and family counseling. Studying the aged is one of the most important fields of practice. It is vital for one to understand the practice in detail. One should also be able to describe the issues and practices involved and what it addresses.
Identification of the Field of Study
Elder abuse is both a societal problem and structural concern that has become more extensive in the society. People who are at 50 years and above constitute the elders in the society. By definition, elder abuse is the violent or offensive harm done to an older person, which, is often of unlawful nature. The abuse may be either deliberate or non-intentional. This fact is reflected worldwide and it indicates that elderly people in the society have been marginalized and demoralized by the society (Snyder, 2013). As a result, they suffer from emotional, psychological, physical, and even sexual problems. In occasions where family members fail to offer or pay, formal caregivers to take care of their elders results to abandonment and neglect. This may lead to stressful scenarios to the elders in the society.
Practice Area and Issues Addressed
The elderly are important people in the society thus making the field vital for social studies. However, this field does not receive the much-needed attention as compared to other fields in the study. The social workers involved in this field are called gerontologists. They are responsible for providing services to the elderly by offering them advice about healthy diets, housing, transportation and long-term care (Snyder, 2013). In addition, they organize client services and assist support groups for family caregivers.
This particular field of study faces various issues. Lack of cooperation from the elderly is one of the major issues. Despite them knowing where they could get support, they still suffer in silence. Very few of the older people seek for assistance from the relevant authorities that can help them such as the police and social workers. In addition, other authorities recognize the pleas of the elderly but fail to address the issue (Snyder, 2013). They ignore the elderly because they are not active in fighting for their rights. As a result, a more vulnerable population would be created in the society whose consequence is growth of greater issues. Due to economical, cultural and language issues, the elders may even be isolated further away. Thus, social workers are responsible for educating and advising elderly people to open up whenever they have been abused.
Research about elderly abuse is minimal. This is because of the difficulty that researchers undergo while inquiring about this subject. On numerous occasions, the elders are hidden and kept further away from other community members by their oppressors. This fact makes it hard for anyone to get any statistics on the number of elders who face oppression (Snyder, 2013). As a result, the subject is left pending and unattended. More so, if the elders were available, they still fail to come out and explain their problems. This issue affects gerontologists from offering quality service to their clients. Language is also an issue that affects this practice. Most of the older people are either not able to read or write. In addition, there are others who speak different languages hence it makes it hard for social workers to address the issue of elderly abuse effectively. Therefore, gerontologists are required to look out for elder members in the society and help them in legal issues. This is through advising them on the necessary steps they can take on legal matters.
The Nature of Three Social Agencies in New York
In the metropolitan New York City area, social agencies have been put up in order to cater for cases of elderly abuse. The services and programs in this specific region have been put up to serve the needs of elderly people in the society and mostly those who have been abused. The first social agency is called Dorot health care services. It is located at 171 West in the 85th street in New York City. For over many years, the social centre has been offering care to the elderly. The agency offers volunteering and aging services. Through the agency’s mission, vision and values, it is evident that the organization works towards helping the aged in New York City and its environs. Its strategic plan as discussed in March 2011 was to ensure that they have abided by their mission in attaining their goals. The agency works to reduce the cases of isolation to elderly people. They also advice them on appropriate healthy eating habits. They use strategies that may help them improve their lives such encouraging the elderly to join support groups.
Dorot agency is a Jewish agency. They make use of their Jewish collective responsibility by affirming their commitment in taking care of the adult members by bringing the generations together. Through this initiative, they have been able to tackle the issue on isolation. The agency also provides receptive care to the elderly with concern and excellent care. It also takes into consideration delicate issues that affect the elderly. These include cases such as abuse and neglect of the elder members. They work towards making a difference in the lives of the elderly by offering them support and making them feel accepted and part of the society.
The Jasa home is the second example of a social agency in New York City. It is located along 247 West of the 37th street. This agency takes care of the elderly alone in the society. Its main goals are to take care of the elderly by providing them with the necessary sources that they may require (JASA, 2013). They encourage the elderly to take healthier meals so that they can sustain their nutritional needs. They offer legal assistance to the elderly. This is a major step since they provide the elderly free training and consultation on legal related issues. It provides them with legal representatives in cases of evictions, elder abuse, food stamps, foreclosures, guardianship and Medicaid. This helps the elder members to feel accepted in the society. The agency also offers informed services to the elderly through publication, leadership training programs and grass root advocacy. On enrichment basis, the elderly are offered lectures, workshops, computer labs and college-level courses. This helps enrich their lives through music and good company.
final social agency is the Centre Light Health System. This agency has been
running for the past 90 years. It was formerly known as Beth Abraham Family of
Health Services. It has 16 branch offices that offer services to the elderly.
The Rockland, Westchester, Suffolk
and Nassau counties within the New York City are served by this
non-profitable organization. Furthermore, it is considered as the largest home
care agency in New York.
They provide care to the frail, chronically ill and elderly members in the
society. Their main aim is to offer specialized programs to these people by
applying various techniques. This includes offering pain management, music
therapy, hospice care, and wound care. These approaches assist the elderly in
order for them to achieve better living standards. In addition, Centre Light
Health System offers temporary homes to the elderly in cases where they have
JASA. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.jasa.org/home
Snyder, D. R. (2013). Elder crimes, elder justice. Burlington, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning.