The novel coronavirus and the resultant COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately affected older adults in terms of the number of lives lost, concerns about safety of institutional and home and community-based care, the impact of isolation and seclusion, and the ability to participate and engage in meaningful and contributory activities. The pandemic has uncovered layers of ageism that are embedded in societies globally and challenges us all to address the pervasive individual, institutional, and structural biases that permit age-based discrimination. Within the interdisciplinary field of gerontology, social workers lead organizations, provide direct services and supports, facilitate community engagement and participation, and deliver therapeutic interventions among other roles and activities that facilitate positive outcomes for older adults and their families.
In Gerontological Social Work and COVID-19: Calls for Change in Education, Practice, and Policy from International Voices, scholars, practice professionals, and other stakeholders reflect on the initial months of the pandemic. They articulate immediate needs the pandemic has created and uncovered, and further identify directions the field must go in to meet the moment and prepare for the future ahead.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.
About the Author
Michelle Putnam, PhD, is Professor and Director of the PhD Program at the School of Social Work, College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice, Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.Huei-Wern Shen, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work, College of Health and Public Service, University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.