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Palliative Social Work with Older Adults and Their Families 

Palliative Social Work with Older Adults and Their Families
Palliative Social Work with Older Adults and Their Families

Daniel S. Gardner

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date: 17 May 2022

This textbook on palliative social work is a companion volume to the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine and the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing. To that end, this chapter will accomplish the following:

Increased longevity and higher prevalence of chronic illnesses, functional limitations, and psychosocial challenges in later life suggest the importance of integrating palliative care and geriatrics.

Older adults are at increased risk for multiple chronic physical and mental health conditions that can increase the need for medical management and hospitalization, limit independent functioning, and threaten quality of life.

Ageist assumptions that illness, pain and discomfort, depression, anxiety, and functional decline are a natural result of aging can minimize the subjective experiences and marginalize older adults; these assumptions are also associated with misdiagnosis and undertreatment of chronic illnesses and conditions.

All palliative social workers must possess competencies in working to assess and alleviate the biopsychosocial-spiritual challenges facing older adults and their families living with chronic and advanced illness.

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