The number of older people, particularly those over 85, is growing, and they need more assistance to remain active and independent. Well-trained, aging-savvy social workers serve as "navigators" and "expediters," empowering older adults and families to understand and choose among the bewildering array of available health and social services. They also provide counseling and direct services, facilitate family support, and coordinate care delivered through professional systems.
The Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI) is
collaborating with social work programs, organizations and
other funders around the country to prepare needed,
aging-savvy social workers and improve the care and well-being
of older adults and their families.
The Crucial Role Mental Health Plays in Caregiving
Millions of Americans suffer from mental health illnesses that impact every facet of their lives. This is especially true for older adults who may also be suffering from physical ailments which add to the complexity of caregiving. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month we focus on how the mental health of both the caregiver and the care recipient impacts the caregiving process. Explore the links below and be sure to keep an eye out for this month’s edition of Ripples, our monthly e-newsletter, which will feature more information. Not subscribed? Email email@example.com to be added to the listserv!
Presidential Proclamation Regarding Mental Health Awareness Month
National Institutes of Mental Health: Older Adults & Mental Health
American Psychological Association Caregiver Briefcase: Risks for Family Caregivers
Caregiver Depression: A Growing Mental Health Concern
*NEW* Ripples, the e-newsletter of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative: May edition, The Crucial Role Mental Health Plays in Caregiving. Click here for our latest issue.
*NEW* GSWI CIAW Winners Put Award Monies to Good Use
The Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI) in partnership with The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) awarded 10 Schools of Social Work with $400 Careers in Aging Week grants. The grant monies helped to fund CIAW Week (April 7-13, 2013) activities to increase awareness about aging related professions.Click here to learn about the various events the GSWI helped to sponsor this year! To read more about CIAW, click here.
New Centers Will Lead to Enhanced Geriatric Social Work Training
The Hartford/GSA National Center on Gerontological Social Work Excellence has chosen the Boston College and the University of Michigan as the locations of the first two Hartford Academic Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work. The National Center was established through a three-year, $1.35 million grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation to The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) in February 2013. GSA Fellow Barbara Berkman, DSW, PhD, chairs its National Advisory Board. To learn more about these selected Centers of Excellence and their mission, click here.
GSA Receives New Grant to Expand Upon Efforts of HGSWI
The John A. Hartford Foundation has awarded The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) $1.35 million dollars in order to continue its support of older adults through geriatric social work. This three-year grant will build upon the successes of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative (HGSWI), which has been coordinated by GSA since 1999 and has supported over 200 doctoral fellows and faculty scholars who are helping to build a workforce of social workers trained and educated in geriatrics. Through the establishment of The Hartford/GSA National Center on Gerontological Social Work Excellence, GSA will focus on three major objectives: a collaboration with the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) to develop social work research leaders to help advance evidence-based knowledge related to VA practice in aging; the mobilization of the current HGSWI Alumni Network using their expertise to impact practice and policy; and the creation of five Hartford Academic Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work at institutions of higher education. To learn more about the new grant and the Center of Excellence, click here.
Geriatric Social Work Scholars Share Their Research Projects
The Geriatric Social Work Initiative, funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation, has supported the research of Geriatric Social Workers across the country through the Hartford SW Scholars Program. In this video project, several scholars from Cohort XII (selected in 2011) provide brief introductions of their Hartford funded research projects. Visit the GSWI YouTube Channel to view these and other GSWI videos.
APA Resource to Assist Family Caregivers
The American Psychological Association’s (APA) web-based resource titled the Family Caregiver Briefcase for Psychologists can be used to assist family caregivers through individual and organizational practice, research, teaching, advocacy and community service. It is also useful for other professionals who work with family caregivers, psychologists facing caregiving challenges within their own families, and caregivers themselves. Briefcase components include: Caregiving facts and figures, strategies for reaching family caregivers, caregiving interventions, assessment tools and much more. The Briefcase was developed by the members of the 2010 APA Presidential Task Force on Caregivers.
Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Essential Element in Geriatric Social Work
Gerontology is, by its nature, an interdisciplinary science. Social workers in gerontology often work together with many other types of professionals including nurses, physicians, policymakers, and administrators. How are social workers important to interdisciplinary collaboration? See: GSWI's Own Interdisciplinary Collaboration Page & The Hartford Foundation Report on Interdisciplinary Geriatric Research.
health AGEnda - The John A. Hartford Foundation Blog
Keep up to date with the latest in the aging and the broader conversation around health, health care and health policy with the Hartford Foundation blog - health AGEnda.
The Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging
publication by Dr. Barbara Berkman: The Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging. Click
here to order a copy.
Action Briefs of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work
Initiative are now available: