Skip to main content
Rewarding Challenges: Social Work With Older Adults


AUTHOR Caroline Rosenthal Gelman and Carol Tosone
TITLE Rewarding Challenges: Social Work With Older Adults
COPYRIGHT May 5, 2008

The older adult population in the United States is rapidly increasing as people live longer. The demand for social workers who are knowledgeable in working with older adults is also rising, and Rewarding Challenges is perfect for exposing students to gerontological social work and promoting basic competencies that general practitioners need. Portraying encounters between social work interns and older adults, this DVD illustrates fundamental social work knowledge, values, and skills in engagement, assessment, intervention, evaluation, and termination. Each encounter is followed by a supervisory session that underscores basic competencies in practice with older adults and provides a positive role model for students considering gerontological social work. Rewarding Challenges is ideal for 1st-year MSW students and early lesson plans of foundation practice courses. It is also great for normalizing social work practice with older adults, rather than marginalizing them as a “special” group reserved for a brief and isolated section of the curriculum. Content presented is grounded in data obtained from structured and qualitative research undertaken with students regarding factors that would increase knowledge and positive attitudes regarding work with older adults.

"Rewarding Challenges will be a teaching tool that can be utilized in a variety of undergraduate and graduate social work courses, as well as field instructor trainings as it blends together factual information about older adults and the application of competencies for working with older adults."—Marla Berg-Weger, Senior Associate Provost of Academic Affairs, Professor, and Interim Dean of the College of Education and Public Service at St. Louis University.