Author Information

Toni Aiduk


By the year 2030, 61 million baby boomers will be between the ages of 66 and 84. Add to that cohort the nine million “oldest old,” or those born before 1946, and significant numbers of 70 million individuals will need access to aging related services. Researchers and policy makers predict huge shortfalls in services and resources for the elderly, and document - that even now – there are too few social workers in the geriatric field. Many of those currently in the field lack professional geriatric training and may not be adequately prepared to help aging clients. However, these studies focus on national estimates of need and availability of trained workers, and have, for the most part, not included information gleaned from a local aging services provider. This study addresses that gap using a community-based mixed methods approach. Data collected by administering the Geriatric Social Work Competency Scale to direct care workers (n=50), and through interviews with key staff members of Old Colony Elder Services (n=20) reveal how frontline workers and managers perceive their geriatric competency, the educational and training background of employees, and ongoing training opportunities. This study also attempted to gain insight into client needs that are the most challenging to resolve, and if there are existing gaps between resources and client needs.

Note on the Author

Toni Aiduk is a senior majoring in Social Work. This research was undertaken in the summer of 2009 as an Adrian Tinsley Program Summer Grant project, and provided the underpinnings of a directed study and an ATP semester grant. These studies were completed under the knowledgeable and encouraging mentorship of Dr. Arnaa Alcon.

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