1st Edition

Gerontological Social Work and COVID-19 Calls for Change in Education, Practice, and Policy from International Voices

Edited By Michelle Putnam, Huei-Wern Shen Copyright 2022
    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    The novel coronavirus and the resultant COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately affected older adults in terms of the number of lives lost, concerns about safety of institutional and home and community-based care, the impact of isolation and seclusion, and the ability to participate and engage in meaningful and contributory activities. The pandemic has uncovered layers of ageism that are embedded in societies globally and challenges us all to address the pervasive individual, institutional, and structural biases that permit age-based discrimination. Within the interdisciplinary field of gerontology, social workers lead organizations, provide direct services and supports, facilitate community engagement and participation, and deliver therapeutic interventions among other roles and activities that facilitate positive outcomes for older adults and their families.

    In Gerontological Social Work and COVID-19: Calls for Change in Education, Practice, and Policy from International Voices, scholars, practice professionals, and other stakeholders reflect on the initial months of the pandemic. They articulate immediate needs the pandemic has created and uncovered, and further identify directions the field must go in to meet the moment and prepare for the future ahead.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.


    Michelle Putnam and Huei-Wern Shen

    Commentaries on Gerontological Social Work’s Response to COVID-19

    1. The Consequences of Ageist Language are upon us

    Clara Berridge and Nancy Hooyman

    2. Applying Gerontological Social Work Perspectives to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Emma Swinford, Natalie Galucia, and Nancy Morrow-Howell

    3. COVID-19 Pandemic: Workforce Implications for Gerontological Social Work

    Marla Berg-Weger and Tracy Schroepfer

    4. Older Workers in the Time of COVID-19: The Senior Community Service Employment Program and Implications for Social Work

    Cal J. Halvorsen and Olga Yulikova

    5. Caregiving in Times of Uncertainty: Helping Adult Children of Aging Parents Find Support during the COVID-19 Outbreak

    Elizabeth Lightfoot and Rajean P. Moone

    Gerontological Social Work Role in Addressing COVID-19

    6. Gerontological Social Work’s Pivotal Role in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Response from AGESW Leadership

    Tam E. Perry, Nancy Kusmaul, and Cal J. Halvorsen

    7. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Vulnerable Older Adults in the United States

    Yeonjung Jane Lee

    8. Social Work Values in Action during COVID-19

    Vivian J. Miller and HeeSoon Lee

    9. COVID-19 and Older Adults: The Time for Gerontology-Curriculum across Social Work Programs is Now!

    Susanny J. Beltran and Vivian J. Miller

    10. They are Essential Workers Now, and Should Continue to Be: Social Workers and Home Health Care Workers during COVID-19 and Beyond

    Lourdes R. Guerrero, Ariel C. Avgar, Erica Phillips, and Madeline R. Sterling

    11. A Reflection of and Charge to Gerontological Social Work: Past Pandemics and the Current COVID-19 Crisis

    Tyrone C. Hamler, Sara J. English, Susanny J. Beltran, and Vivian J. Miller

    COVID-19 and Social Work with Diverse Groups

    12. The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Groups: A Social Justice Concern

    HeeSoon Lee and Vivian J. Miller

    13. Social Workers Must Address Intersecting Vulnerabilities among Noninstitutionalized, Black, Latinx, and Older Adults of Color during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Megan T. Ebor, Tamra B. Loeb, and Laura Trejo

    14. Expanding Bilingual Social Workers for the East Asian Older Adults beyond the "COVID-19 Racism"

    Sangeun Lee

    15. Older Latinx Immigrants and Covid-19: A Call to Action

    Rocío Calvo

    16. Social Work Response Needed to the Challenge of COVID-19 for Aging People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilties

    Philip McCallion

    17. Unraveling the Invisible but Harmful Impact of COVID-19 on Deaf Older Adults and Older Adults with Hearing Loss

    Junghyun Park

    18. The Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults Living with HIV: HIV Care and Psychosocial Effects

    Monique J. Brown and Sharon B. Weissman

    19. Serving LGBTQ+/SGL Elders during the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Striving for Justice, Recognizing Resilience

    Sarah Jen, Dan Stewart, and Imani Woody

    20. Older Adults and Covid 19: Social Justice, Disparities, and Social Work Practice

    Carole Cox

    COVID-19 and Health and Social Care

    21. Self-Direction of Home and Community-Based Services in the Time of COVID-19

    Kevin J. Mahoney

    22. COVID-19 Pandemic: Opportunity to Advanced Home Care for Older Adults

    Vahidreza Borhaninejad and Vahid Rashedi

    23. The Need for Community Practice to Support Aging in Place during COVID-19

    Althea Pestine-Stevens and Emily A. Greenfield

    24. Covid-19 and Community Care in South Korea

    Soyoon Weon

    25. Social Work with Older Persons Living with Dementia in Nigeria: COVID-19

    Oluwagbemiga Oyinlola and Oluromade Olusa

    26. Thoughts on Living in a Nursing Facility during the Pandemic

    Penny Shaw

    27. The Care Home Pandemic – What Lessons Can We Learn for the Future?

    Ameer A. Khan, Vineshwar P. Singh, and Darab Khan

    28. Nursing Home in the COVID-19 Outbreak: Challenge, and Resiliency

    Huanhuan Huang, Yan Xie, Zhiyu Chen, Mingzhao Xiao, Songmei Cao, Jie Mi, Xiuli Yu, and Qinghua Zhao

    29. Nursing Home Social Work During COVID-19

    Nancy Kusmaul, Mercedes Bern-Klug, Jennifer Heston-Mullins, Amy R. Roberts, and Colleen Galambos

    30. Working with Older Caregivers of Persons with Mental Illness during COVID-19: Decreasing Burden, Creating Plans for Future Care, and Utilizing Strengths

    Travis Labrum, Christina Newhill, and Tyler Smathers

    31. Service Needs of Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness

    Nathaniel A. Dell, Natsuki Sasaki, Madeline Stewart, Allison M. Murphy, and Marina Klier

    32. The Implications of COVID-19 for the Mental Health Care of Older Adults: Insights from Emergency Department Social Workers

    Xiaoling Xiang, Yawen Ning, and Jay Kayser

    33. Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults: A Cultural Geriatric Mental Health- Care Perspectived

    Sonia Mukhtar

    Social Isolation and the Digital Experience in COVID-19

    34. Practical Implications of Physical Distancing, Social Isolation, and Reduced Physicality for Older Adults in Response to COVID-19

    Anthony D. Campbell

    35. COVID-19 and the Digital Divide: Will Social Workers Help Bridge the Gap?

    Allison Gibson, Shoshana H. Bardach, and Natalie D. Pope

    36. The Digital Exclusion of Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Alexander Seifert

    37. Choosing Physical Distancing over Social Distancing in the Era of Technology: Minimizing Risk for Older People

    Saptarshi Chatterjee

    38. Virtual Social Work Care with Older Black Adults: A Culturally Relevant Technology-Based Intervention to Reduce Social Isolation and Loneliness in a Time of Pandemic

    Sulaimon Giwa, Delores V. Mullings, and Karun K. Karki

    39. Social Responses for Older People in COVID-19 Pandemic: Experience from Vietnam

    Le Thanh Tung

    40. Fighting COVID-19: Fear and Internal Conflict among Older Adults in Ghana

    Razak M Gyasi

    41. Re-integrating Older Adults Who Have Recovered from the Novel Coronavirus into Society in the Context of Stigmatization: Lessons for Health and Social Actors in Ghana

    Williams Agyemang-Duah, Anthony Kwame Morgan, Joseph Oduro Appiah, Prince Peprah, and Audrey Amponsah Fordjour

    Interventions to Support Older Adults during COVID-19

    42. Staying Isolated in Order to Stay Safe: Exploring Experiences of the MIT AgeLab 85+ Lifestyle Leaders during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Julie B. Miller, Taylor R. Patskanick, Lisa A. D’Ambrosio, and Joseph F. Coughlin

    43. Adapting ‘Sunshine,’ A Socially Assistive Chat Robot for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study

    Othelia EunKyoung Lee and Boyd Davis

    44. Reaching older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic through social networks and Social Security Schemes in Ghana: Lessons for considerations

    Francis Arthur-Holmes and Williams Agyemang-Duah

    45. Animal (Non-human) Companionship for Adults Aging in Place during COVID-19: A Critical Support, a Source of Concern and Potential for Social Work Responses

    Mary E. Rauktis and Janet Hoy-Gerlach

    46. Detroit’s Efforts to Meet the Needs of Seniors: Macro Responses to a Crisis

    Dennis Archambault, Claudia Sanford, and Tam Perry

    47. Foregrounding Context in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Learning from Older Adults in Puerto Rico

    Denise Burnette, Tommy D. Buckley, Humberto E. Fabelo, and Mauricio P. Yabar

    48. An Innovative Telephone Outreach Program to Seniors in Detroit, a City Facing Dire Consequences of COVID-19

    Vanessa Rorai and Tam E. Perry

    49. Healthcare Concerns of Older Adults during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Low- and Middle- Income Countries: Lessons for Health Policy and Social Work

    Francis Arthur-Holmes, Michael Kwesi Asare Akaadom, Williams Agyemang-Duah, Kwaku Abrefa Busia, and Prince Peprah

    50. Geriatric Health in Bangladesh during COVID-19: Challenges and Recommendations

    Md Mahbub Hossain, Hoimonty Mazumder, Samia Tasnim, Tasmiah Nuzhath, and Abida Sultana

    51. Lessons for Averting the Delayed and Reduced Patronage of non-COVID-19 Medical Services by Older People in Ghana

    Anthony Kwame Morgan and Beatrice Aberinpoka Awafo


    Michelle Putnam, PhD, is Professor and Director of the PhD Program at the School of Social Work, College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice, Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

    Huei-Wern Shen, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work, College of Health and Public Service, University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.