What does a social worker do?

  • Networking with government departments (eg. Social Development) and other NGO’s like CMR, Child Welfare, SANRA, Association for physical disability etc.
  • Identify and address the needs of older persons.
  • Prevent and deal with isolation of older persons and them feeling deserted.
  • To arrange adequate care for elderly in need and lead the older person to accept alternative arrangements.
  • Active ageing programs to assist elderly to stay as long as possible independent in the community.
  • To arrange / negotiate / assist with adequate housing arrangements for frail elderly or older persons in need.
  • To arrange / act as mediator for older persons to have access to basic services like water, electricity, toilets etc.
  • Research on resources for the elderly in different communities.
  • Admittance to old age homes: admittance procedure (forms, medical examination etc), therapeutical input to accept their need of alternative care, support and enable family members to assist elderly in new living arrangements.
  • Helping elderly to understand, accept and adapt to the different phases (and challenges) of the ageing process.
  • To enhance dignity, self worth of older persons.
  • If an elderly person have no other choice than to live with their children: therapeutic intervention to the children, older person and family as a whole to understand and adapt to the different roles and living arrangements / challenges.
  • Family / marriage intervention re conflict resolution, communication skills, anger, feelings of guilt etc.
  • Statutory services: foster care placements (through the children’s court) of deceased parent’s children in the care of their grannies.  Parental guidance, intervention that the parties out of two different generations understand and accept the structure of living together.  Assistance in the bridge of the age gap.
  • Foster care supervision services: assist in the understanding of parenting again, handling of teenagers, handling of an HIV infected child etc.  Parental guidance, monitoring and report back to the children’s court
  • Foster care of HIV infected children: guidance re feeding, health care, getting infected and resources available.
  • Guidance / information sessions re age related illnesses eg. Hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, dementia etc.  Acceptance, resources and guidance to healthy lifestyle choices / living.
  • Guidance and support groups to family members who care for their life partners with stages of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson sets. Info on different stages and how to handle it, dealing with feelings of guilt and depression.
  • To combat Elder Abuse
  • To start and manage support services to the elderly to enable them to live a meaningful life as long as possible in the community.

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