Ageism: An Exploration of Social Workers' Attitudes Toward Psychological Services for Elders
-this study sought to explore the value placed on psychological services for elders by social workers. Previous research indicates that psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians and other professionals are biased against the effectiveness of psychological services for older people. Because social workers for elders are often the source of referrals for other types of service provision to meet the needs of older adults, the social worker's ability to recognize depression and to understand the appropriateness of services such as psychotherapy, couples, group, and family therapy is necessary to ensure all the needs of the older adult are met. By responding to a client vignette, social workers in the Twin Cities showed some discrepancy in their consideration of an older client versus a younger client in the areas of the importance of organic impairment to a client's current situation, and in the types of service preferred to assist the client. Psychotherapy was more often the intervention of choice for a younger client than for an older client. However, many social workers did express support for the provision of psychotherapy for an older client, and most social workers were able to recognize symptoms of depression, without confusing such symptoms with dementia.