"End-of-life care for older people is needed because it is important that everyone should experience their loved ones’ deaths as part of the continuity of their lives as part of their family and community and know that their own end-of-life experience will be worthwhile."
It aims to transfer skills and knowledge between social workers with older people and practitioners working in end-of-life care, helping them enable older people to achieve a high-quality lifestyle, as they age and move towards the dying phase of their lives.
The main aim is to help social workers build end-of-life care into their work with older people. This can seem tough, because of the emotional demands of opening up people’s thinking about death in their own lives and in their family. But it is also immensely rewarding, because older people and their families feel a real sense of achievement and security in planning for a satisfying end to their life and for their family’s future.
The book focuses on older people’s social citizenship in a period in which there are growing numbers of older people in the populations of many countries. It shows how citizenship is a process in which rights and opportunities to belong in a community may be gained or lost and built up or destroyed by what happens in our lives. Older people can be de-citizened by being treated as a burden on society, abused, neglected and socially isolated. Many of the same risks affect older people as affect other de-citizened groups, such as refugees or women affected by violence. Social workers and health and social care services can help to re-citizen older people by supporting them in building active participation in the community that surrounds them.
I’m working with Emma Reith Hall on a new Routledge Handbook of Social Work Theory. With contributors from all over the world, this will offer access to a very broad range of ideas for developing innovative social work practice, firmly based in the social sciences.
Many social workers feel that their work with older people is being de-professionalised, because they face bureaucratic demands to complete computerised care assessments for adult social care, rather than being able to work holistically with older people and their families. This book’s concept of ‘social work strategies’ identifies ways of including interpersonal work into adult social care tasks to generate with older people and their families the hope of a good quality of life and of dying well.
Malcolm Payne is a Polish-English academic and writer in the field of social work. He is an Adviser (Policy and Development) at St Christophers Hospice, London, Emeritus Professor of Community Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Honorary Professor, Kingston University St Georges Medical School.
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Older people are, like younger people, citizens in the communities of the nations in which they live. This book sees ageing as a life journey that incorporates a process of citizening, in which people build their identity as part of their family and community. But the social experience of illness,…
Paperback – 2017-02-22
Routledge Key Themes in Health and Society