VOLUME 18 | SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2011 | IGSW at Boston University

From the Director

Jobs of the Future Are in Care
And Services for Older Adults

Long Term Care
By Scott Miyake Geron

These days, everyone is talking about jobs. While the employment picture is indeed grim in most sectors and for many occupations, jobs providing healthcare and social services to older adults are not only expected to increase, but are, in some notable areas, already growing. Aging is clearly where many jobs of the future will be. But what kinds of jobs, and will the workforce be ready to care for a rapidly aging society?... Read more

Book cover image: Urban Institute Press

Issues and Views

A geriatrician's view

Interdisciplinary Teams Essential to Care of Elders

Gregg WarshawWith predictions of a need for more than 30,000 additional geriatricians over the next 20 years, and the American Geriatrics Society reporting that fewer, not more, physicians are entering the specialty of geriatrics, one solution focuses on collaboration and interdisciplinary teams of providers trained to care for older adults. Gregg Warshaw, a pioneering geriatrician who is now a leader in efforts to coordinate care, says these teams are more than a stopgap measure. "More of us who work in geriatrics view such teams as an essential part of the care older people need, regardless of shortages," he told IGSW News in a recent interview, "especially as more of that care will be provided in the community. Teams are also important to make the most of the limited number of trained geriatrics health professionals in all disciplines, not just medicine," he said.... Read more

Photo of Gregg Warshaw courtesy University of Cincinnati

In my opinion: Julie Abramson

Social Workers, You Can Make Teams Work

By Julie S. Abramson

Julie AbramsonSocial workers are in a unique position to contribute to the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams because of their professional education, contends Julie Abramson, a longtime professor of social work and researcher and consultant on teamwork. "But to draw on these skills successfully," she says, "social workers need to relinquish the false dichotomy between the skills they apply with clients and those they apply with colleagues." Here, she tells how.... Read more

Photo courtesy Julie S. Abramson

Featured Course

Team Approach: Working Across Disciplines

The urgent need for comprehensive, coordinated care for older adults—now a priority in policy and practice—means that social service and other care professionals increasingly are called upon to work as formal or informal members of a geriatric care team. This timely course is designed to prepare social service providers to use their unique skills and insight to become effective and valuable team participants. The benefits and challenges of working on an interdisciplinary care team are stressed, along with the roles of the various team members. The expert contributor for this course is Julie Abramson, M.S.W., Ph.D., an associate professor emerita of social work at SUNY, Albany, and a consultant specializing in creating positive work-group cultures. View a team discussion in this video clip from the course.

To sign up now or learn more about Team Approach: Working Across Disciplines

Screen shot: Boston University

News to Note

Affordable Care Act after 18 months

Report Cites Improved Care Coordination
And Access to Community-Based Care

Improved care coordination and access to home- and community-based care are among the many tangible effects of the Affordable Care Act of particular relevance to older adults that were included in a new report on healthcare reform. The report, Reducing Costs, Protecting Consumers: The Affordable Care Act on the One Year Anniversary of the Patient's Bill of Rights, was released by the Department of Health and Human Services in late September. Read about better coordinated care for people enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid; incentives to states for making Medicaid home-based services more available; "bundled payments" to encourage hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare and service providers to work together as patients move from one level of care to another; and more.

Tablet and smartphone technologies

Helping Older Workers and People with Disabilities
Remain in Their Jobs

As baby boomers continue to work past age 65, employers nationwide will face an increase in challenging issues related to both aging and disability. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, some 45 percent of people with disabilities were age 65 and over, compared with 13 percent of those with no disability. Some workers with disabilities are now using devices such as smartphones and tablets as assistive technologies for work, but there is a need for employers to quicken the pace of adoption and implementation.... Read more

National Distance Learning Week Is November 7–9

Distance LearningWith more than five million college and continuing education students currently enrolled in online courses, the United States Distance Learning Association is sponsoring National Distance Learning Week, November 7–9. The purpose is to promote and celebrate the growth and accomplishment of the many distance-learning programs offered by schools, universities, businesses, and government agencies in the United States, an association spokesman said.

The United States Distance Learning Association is a nonprofit organization based in Boston, Mass., with the mission of serving the distance-learning community by providing advocacy, information, and networking.