5 Careers in Social Work in Aging

5 Social Work Jobs Focusing on Aging Adults

  • Nursing Home Director of Social Work
  • Social Work Case Manager
  • Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Social Scientist
  • Social and Health Services Assistants

Those who enjoy helping people and making a difference in the lives of seniors may be particularly interested to learn about careers in social work in aging. This field, also known as geriatric social work or gerontological social work, involves assisting the elderly to help them adapt to their ever-changing landscape. As folks grow older, they encounter limited mobility, loss of friends and declining cognitive skills, among other issues. Those working in helping professions with the aging are uniquely suited to affect quality of life in a number of ways. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Nursing Home Director of Social Work

Nursing homes and long-term care centers require staff who are knowledgeable about the psychological and physical development of their clientele. A director of social work in such a facility is charged with leading the staff of case workers and other service personnel within the organization. These experts usually have a great deal of experience within the field and an advanced degree. They may work to create programs and activities for residents, coordinate outside agency intervention and develop budgets, among other duties.

2. Social Work Case Manager

Social work case managers work in a number of settings and with a variety of clientele. When serving older populations they may be found in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, home health agencies and more. These professionals work directly with clients to assist them in obtaining the services they need. Examples of these may be help with funding for utilities, assistance in obtaining housing or help finding appropriate social opportunities.

3. Medical and Health Services Manager

The healthcare needs of an aging population are generally greater than those of their younger counterparts, thus necessitating another one of the careers in social work in aging that has become quite popular. Medical and health services managers are employed in healthcare facilities such as doctors' offices, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. They coordinate the management, planning, supervision and administration of the medical services that are delivered to their clients.

4. Social Scientist

Social scientists are charged with the study of human behavior. The information they learn through observation, research, surveys and social experiments guides such issues as policy, accepted practice and services for the elderly. This insight is essential to creating programs and efforts that meet the needs of this growing population.

5. Social and Health Services Assistants

These professionals assist seniors with various issues in their lives and within a number of relevant environments. Upon meeting with individuals and assessing their needs, these assistants are able to determine the types of specific services each client may require. They may teach life skills in specific settings, lead counseling groups, assist in completing administrative paperwork or work to provide social activities to their clients.

Related Resource: 20 High-value BSW Degrees in Metro Areas with Top Salaries for Social Workers 2018

There are a number of jobs for those wishing to work in geriatric social work, along with a great deal of settings in which to become employed. The field is vibrant with lots of opportunity for those who sincerely desire to make a difference in the lives of aging populations. These are just some of the more common careers in social work in aging, but they provide a broad sense of what is available within the profession.