VOLUME 19 | MARCH–APRIL 2012 | IGSW at Boston University

From the Director

IGSW collaboration for worker satisfaction, retention

'SE4A University' Improves Pathways for Career Advancement

By Scott Miyake Geron

Scott GeronAcross America, social workers and other practitioners who work as care managers are often the entry point for vital health and social services for older people and play a decisive role in their ability to remain in the community. But despite the importance of their work and the challenges they face, these professionals have few perceived pathways for career advancement. They typically are provided limited incentives and no comprehensive, work-based plan for developing their skills. It's little wonder that they show high annual turnover rates (typically from 25 to 50 percent). Now, however, help is available. In collaboration with states around the country, IGSW has developed a successful, cost-effective strategy to improve pathways for career advancement for practitioners like these. Read about IGSW's partnership with the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging (SE4A) and more.

Photo courtesy Boston University

Issues and Views

It's the (healthcare) economy, stupid!

John Rother on the Number-One Policy Issue

By Mary Johnson

Bringing down the cost of healthcare should be the nation's economic priority as well as its prescription for better care for all Americans, says John Rother, who has now committed his considerable professional energy and clout to the cause. Rother, for many years the public policy voice of AARP, left the organization in September to take the helm at the National Coalition on Health Care, which comprises 85 national organizations advocating for systemic healthcare reform. Rother recently talked to IGSW News about President Obama, public opinion, and why healthcare affordability is today's central policy issue.... Read more

Photo of John Rother courtesy National Coalition on Health Care

What's new in online learning?

Colleges See Critical Strategic Role for Online Ed

By Susan Kryczka

According to Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011, the latest in a series of annual studies of online learning in colleges and universities, 65 percent of institutions of higher education reported that online learning was a critical element of their long-term strategy, up from 63 percent in 2010. The authors of the study, I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, also found that more than 6.1 million students in these institutions took at least one online course during the fall of 2010. Such findings are good news for professionals continuing their education online.... Read more

Photo of Susan Kryczka courtesy Excelsior College

Be a better boss with this IGSW course

Supervision for Effective Practice with Older Adults

Supervising social service practitioners who serve older clients requires a melding of supervisory best practice with understanding of the particular requirements of working with older adults. Through this course, you will develop skills and knowledge in both of these crucial areas, and more. View this course video clip in which expert commentator Ann Burack-Weiss, of the Columbia University School of Social Work, discusses ways to handle problem work behavior.

Sign up now or learn more about this course

Screen shot: Boston University School of Social Work
Institute for Geriatric Social Work

News to Note

Patients had no obvious memory loss

Study of Routine Brief Cognitive Screenings Shows
Big Increase in New Diagnoses of Impairment

A new study published in the February Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reveals that brief cognitive screenings during a primary-care visit combined with offers of further evaluation increased new diagnoses of cognitive impairment in older veterans by two- to threefold. The leader of the study, J. Riley McCarten, M.D., of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and the University of Minnesota, said that the study demonstrates that proactive strategies like routine screening are effective in diagnosing cognitive impairment and are well-accepted by patients and valued by primary-care providers. Yet, the findings run counter to current standard recommendations by the American College of Physicians and the Alzheimer's Association, which discourage routine screening of all patients of a certain age for cognitive impairment/dementia.... Read more

New National Efforts to Fight Alzheimer's Include
Support for Caregivers, Improved Provider Training

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced new efforts to fight Alzheimer's disease that include an additional $26 million to support caregivers in the community and improve healthcare provider training, as well as increasing public awareness of the condition. An additional $50 million will be devoted to cutting-edge research. "These new funds will help increase our understanding about how to manage Alzheimer's disease, especially those services that allow families to plan in the early stages and support family caregivers," said DHHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee.... Read more

Update your skills with this IGSW course

Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

The first to notice potential signs of Alzheimer's disease in a client are often the case managers, social workers, and others who provide services to older people. This course teaches professionals to recognize signs and symptoms of dementia as distinct from normal changes so that they can refer clients for appropriate diagnostic screening and emphasizes the role of the social service practitioner in providing appropriate support and services.


Sign Up Now and Receive a 15 Percent Discount!

The revised and updated version of this course will be available in August. Enjoy a 15 percent discount when you enroll for this course between March 12 and July 31, 2012!
(Enter code enews to enjoy the discount.)

To sign up now or learn more about
Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, Revised