If you enjoy helping people and want to specifically serve seniors, you may be considering social work jobs working with aging populations. However, it's likely you're unaware of just how vast the career landscape can be for those wanting to help the elderly. The senior population is growing and requires a number of services to meet their unique needs. There are a number of jobs related to the field of social work, specifically with older clients. Here are some jobs that may interest you.
The most obvious career would be that of social worker. A social worker who works specifically with aging populations is known as a geriatric social worker. These social workers help seniors to ensure their living environments are adequate, as well as to deal with specific social and family issues that arise at this life stage. A geriatric social worker can fulfill a number of duties. Often, they work to assist adult children in obtaining resources to care for their aging parents. They may also teach courses on care giving or provide information on long term care options. In addition to the home environment, these social workers also work in assisted living centers, nursing homes, home health care or other medical environments.
Resource: What Does a Geriatric Care Manager Do?
Social and Health Services Assistants
Social and health services assistants are professionals who assist their aging clients with a number of life issues across a wide spectrum of environments. One of the main duties of these workers is to meet with clients to assess their needs. They then help them to determine which kinds of services are right for them and then to locate such services. A specific example may include someone who works in an retirement community and helps clients to obtain Medicare, Social Security or other government benefits. Other such professionals may look more specifically at meeting the needs of an aging population by assessing medical needs, teaching life skills, leading counseling and educational groups or encouraging older adults to take part in recreational activities.
Medical and Health Services Managers
Seniors often require professionals to manage, plan, supervise and administer their health services in order to meet their unique needs. These professionals work in various medical facilities such as doctors' offices, nursing homes and hospitals. Such managers may oversee a particular medical department or an entire healthcare facility.
Social scientists study human behavior. They conduct research through surveys, social experiments, interviews, historical analysis and other methods to determine the ways in which people interact in their environments. Sociologists are such social scientists, and those who focus on the aging population can help to shape policy that affects seniors and to ensure they receive the best services and care.
These are a few examples of careers spanning the field of geriatric social work. There is a wide array of social work jobs working with aging populations, and these careers can be customized to incorporate the individual skills, knowledge and talents of the social worker.