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Select from the buttons on the right to move through the case study resources.

Resources to support social work with older people.

This website provides resources to support social work with older people.

Social work with older people is also called Gerontological Social Work. It is a specialist area of practice that is concerned with maintaining and enhancing the quality of life and wellbeing of older people and their families and with promoting independence, autonomy, and dignity.

How to use the website

The website centres on the case study of Don and Madge, a retired couple dealing with the consequences of ageing. The case study moves through seven time periods as their circumstances change and the responsibilities for caring develop.

The case study is designed to explore some of the complex issues associated with increasing frailty and escalating care and support needs in late life. It does not look at safeguarding or capacity as these topics are well covered in existing guidance. Instead the focus is on vital but neglected aspects of practice: the psycho-social and physical processes that underlie many of the experiences and challenges of late life; and the relational skills needed for practice that promotes prevention and well-being as required by the Care Act 2014.

Each stage of the case study highlights important Values and Ethics; Law and Policy; Knowledge, Evidence and Good Practice; Skills; Activities and Additional Resources. These relate to what is happening in the case study.
Go to the Professional Development section to find out more about how this website can be used to improve your practice.


The case study was developed and written in 2016 by Gero (G)8, a group of social work academics engaged in research and teaching in gerontology and gerontological social work in UK universities. Members of G8 are all qualified social workers with a strong commitment to promoting and enhancing professional practice with older people and their families, primarily through developing research and resources to support social work practitioners and students working in this area.

The website was updated with additional resources in 2019. These are added to the end of each of the Additional Resources sections in the different stages of the case study.