Ash A & Phillips J (2011) Social Work with Older People in Europe: Diversity and Change. Indian Journal of Gerontology, 25 (4), pp. 474-493.
Any account of social work with older people in Europe has to grapple with a number of definitional and conceptual challenges. These include delineating and describing ‘Europe’ and the typology and histories of its welfare states; defining social work, social care and social services (terms that share no common European definition); and recognising the differing meanings of ‘old age’ across Europe. This article reviews these definitional and conceptual differences, and gives an overview of social work with older people in Europe. It describes social work’s diversity in its engagement with older people in Europe, suggesting this arises out of the type of welfare regime in which social work with older people is practised. A distinct European identity for social work with older people is not yet apparent. Economic pressures on welfare states, and the political decisions they take to deal with these, may lead to convergence across Europe particularly in the type of welfare provision to older people. If this occurs, it would impact the nature of social work with older people in Europe.
Indian Journal of Gerontology: Volume 25, Issue 4