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Social Work with Elderly, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Social Work with Elderly

This syllabus is valid: 2016-08-29 and until further notice

Course code: 2SA062

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Social Work: Second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Social Work

Revised by: Head of Department of Social Work, 2016-06-17


The course focuses on public, organizational and individual perspectives and experiences of aging and care work. From a social perspective the challenges of aging and older people's living conditions are problematized and conceptualized and linked to three general themes: 1) elderly care from a welfare state perspective, 2) social vulnerability and 3) care and care giving. Older people's living conditions and needs are problematized in the view of a changing society, forms of governance, organizations and legislation as well as social vulnerability such as abuse, disabilities, violence and poverty. Care relations and caregiving are problematized in relation to skills, intimacy, family, end-of-life care, death and bereavement. During the course ethical dilemmas in social work with elderly will be discussed. Age, aging and care are concepts highlighted and problematized in relation to gender, class, ethnicity and sexuality.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to:
- Have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the social conditions of aging and conditions
- Demonstrate knowledge of theories and research on aging and elderly / old people
- Have a knowledge and understanding of the practice of social work with the elderly, such as exercise of authority, formal and informal caregiving
- Have knowledge of the living conditions of the elderly and vulnerable life situations such as abuse, violence, relationships, care dependency
- Demonstrate the ability and skills to critically analyse and reflect on aging, welfare and care in relation to the norms of gender as well as ethnicity and disability
- The ability to reflect critically on theories and research on elderly, aging and elder care
- Be able to reflect on the welfare changes and its implications for social work with elderly
- Be able to identify and evaluate factors that affect older people's living conditions at individual, group and community level
- Independently and critically acquire, evaluate and apply knowledge in the field

Required Knowledge

A minimum of 90 ECTS within the social sciences education in one of the following: Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, Peace and conflict studies, pedagogic, Gender Studies and social geography, Political science, Law/legal Science or in other courses that are considered equal to thus above, including an individual essay carrying at least 15 credits or 90 ECTS within nursing including an individual essay carrying at least 15 credits.

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A (IELTS (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 5.5 and no individual score below 5.0. TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) with a minimum total score of 530 and a minimum TWE score of 4. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) with a minimum total score of 72 and a minimum score of 17 on the Writing Section).

Form of instruction

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars and individual presentations. Attendance at seminars and individual presentations is compulsory. Students who are unable to participate in an examinatory element will be set extra assignments

Examination modes

The course uses continuous examination in the form of active participation in seminars and individual and written assignments. The course is examined through a written assignment which is presented orally and discussed in a seminar, as well as through active participation in seminar discussions of participants’ presentations.
All examinatory elements are used as bases for the overall course grade. To receive the grade “pass” for the course it is necessary to achieve a passing grade for all seminars as well as for the individual written assignment. To receive a “pass with distinction” grade for the course it is necessary to achieve a passing grade for all seminars as well as a pass with distinction grade for the individual written assignment.
Students who receive a grade of incomplete on the written assignment and seminars will be given the opportunity to complete their work in order to achieve a passing grade. Completion of the examination should be individually based and must take place within two weeks after the announcment of the examination results.
In cases where this is not possible the student is given the opportunity to participate in the element in question when the course is given again.
Students have the right to change examiner after two failed examinations, unless special reasons exist. A written request for change of examiner is to be submitted to the director of studies no later than two weeks before the next examination date.
As regards the rules for re-examinations and examinations in another location the Department folows the rules for Umeå University for tests and examinations at the undergraduate and graduate levels:å.
Application for examination at another location is handed by the student office.

Other regulations

Credit Transfer
Transfer of credits is assessed on an individual basis. For more information please contact your student adviser. See also the “Code of rules and procedures at Umeå University”.


Valid from: 2016 week 35

Social work with Elderly 15 hp

Abrahamsson M
Moral norms in older swedish women´s drinking narratives. Enduring patterns and successivelty new features
Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 29(4): 371-396 : 2012 :

Mapping marketization: concepts and goals. In Gabrielle Meagher & Marta Szebehely (eds) Marketisation in Nordic eldercare: a research report on legislation, oversight, extent and consequences.
Anttonen Anneli, Meagher Gabrielle
Stockholm: Department of social work Stockholm university : 2013 :
Marketisation in Nordic eldercare: a research report on legislation, oversight, extent and consequences.

Bigby C
I hope he dies before me. Unravelling debates about aging with intellectual disability.
In N. Watson, A. Roulstone, & C. Thomas, (Eds), Routledge Companion to Disability Studies (pp. 426-439) London: Routledge. (available by the department) : 2012 :

Sufficient competence in community elderly care? Results from a competence measurement of nursing staff
Bing-Jonsson P.C, Hofoss D, Kirkevold M, Torunn B.I, Foss C
BMC Geriatrics, vol. 15(5) DOI: 10.1186/s12912-016-0124-z : 2016 :

Bornat, Joanna, Dimmock, Brian, Jones, David & Peace, Shelia (1999)
Stepfamilies and older people: evaluating the implications of family change for an aging population. Aging and Society, vol. 19, no. 2:239-261.


The Health and Social Service Needs of Gay and Lesbian Elders and Their Families in Canada. The Gerontologist, vol. 43, no. 2:192-202
Brotman Shari, Ryan Bill, Cormier Robert
2003 :

Globalization, Women´s Migration, and the long-Term-Care Workforce. The Gerontologist, vol. 48, no. 1:16-24
Browne Colette V, Braun Kathryn L
2008 :

Conrad Peter
Medicalization and Social Control
Annual Review of Sociology Vol 18:209-232 : 1992 :
Annual Review of Sociology Vol 18

Food and eating as social practice – understanding eating patterns as social phenomena and implications for public health
Delormier Treena, Frohlich Ketherine L, Potvin Louise
Sociology of Health & Illness Volume 31, Issue 2, pages 215–228, March 2009 :

Marketising trends i Swedish eldercare: competition, choicce and calls for stricter regulation.
Erlandsson Sara, Storm Palle, Strantz Anneli, Marta Szebehely, Trydegård Gun-Britt
Stockholm: Department of social work, Stockholm University : 2013 :

Care managers’ experiences of cross-cultural needs assessment meetings: the case of late-in-life immigrants
Forssell E, Torres S, Olaison A
Ageing and Society, 35(3): 576-601. : 2015 :

Viagra: Medical Technology Construction Aging Masculinity
Gross Gregory, Blundo Robert
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare Vol. XXXII, No 1:85-97 : 2005 :

Gunnarsson Evy
The vulnerable life course: poverty and social assistance among middle-aged and older women. Ageing and Society, vol. 22:709-728
2002 :

Gender and the Division of Houshold Labor in Older Couples: A European Perspective. Journal of Family Issues, vol. 28, no 3:399-421.
Hank Karsten, Jürges Hendrik
2007 :

Harnett Tove
Seeking exemptions from nursing home routines: Residents everyday influence attempts and institutional order
Journal of aging studies, vol 24:292-301 :

Universal old-age pension in an aging China: Can China learn from Sweden?
Johansson S, Cheng S
International Social Work. 1-16. : 2014 :

The natural, the normal and the normative: Contested terrains in ageing and old age.
Jones I.R, Higgs P.F
Social Sciene & Medicine. 71, 1513-1519. : 2010 :

The exclusion of older people in disability activism and policies – A case of inadvertent ageism?
Jönsson H, Taghizadeh Larsson S
Journal of Ageing Studies, 23: 69-77. : 20009 :

Kalman Hildur
Loss and Grieving: Selves between Autonomy and Dependence.
PhanEx Vol 7 (2): 1-27 : 2012 :

Framing of Intimate Care in Home Care Services
Kalman Hildur, Andersson Katarina
European Journal of Social Work (ISSN 1369-1457) (EISSN 1468-2664) :

Katz Stephen
Busy Bodies: Activity, Aging, and the Management of Everyday Life. Journal of Aging Studies, vol. 14, no. 2:135-152.
2000 :

Critical perspectives on successful aging: does it ”appeal more than it illuminates”?
Katz S, Calasanti T
The Gerontologist, 55(1): 26-33. : 2015 :

Karner Tracy X
Professional Caring: Homecare Workers as Fictive Kin. Journal of Aging Studies, vol. 12, no 1:69-82.
1998 :

Widowhood and the end of spousal care-giving:relief of wear and tear. Ageing and Society, vol. 28, 551-570.
Keene Jennifer Reid, Prokos Anastasia H
2008 :

How the perspectives of nursing assistants and frail elderly residents on their daily interaction in nursing homes affect their interaction: a qualitative study.
Lung C.C, Liu J.Y.W
BMC Geriatrics, vol. 16 (13): 1-14. DOI: 10.1186/s12877-016-0186-5 : 2016 :

Mallett, Shelley (2004)
Understanding home: a critical review of the literature. The Sociological Review, vol. 52, no. 1:62-89


Mégret F
The Human Rights of Older Persons: A Growing Challenge.
Human Rights Law Review, 11(1): 37-66. : 2011 :

Residents’ experiences of interpersonal factors in nursing home care: A qualitative study.
Nakrem S, Vinsnes A.G, Seim A
International Journal of Nursing Studies. 48, 1357-1366 doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.05.012 : 2009 :

Alcohol use disorders in elderly people – redefining an age old problem in old age.
O´Connell H, Chin Av, Cunningham C, Lawlor B
British Medical Journal. 327(7416): 664-667. : 2003 :

Olaison, Anna & Cedersund Elisabet (2006)
Assessment for home care: Negotiating solutions for individual needs. Journal of Aging Studies, vol. 20:367-380.


Rubinstein, Robert, L (1989)
The Home Environments of Older People: a Description of the Psychosocial Processes Linking Person to Place. The journals of gerontology, vol. 44, no. 2:545-553.


Salander, Pär & Agneta Spetz (2002)
How do patients and spouses deal with the serious facts of malignant glioma. Palliative Medicine, vol. 16:305-313.


Violence in institutional care for elderly people from the perspective of involved care providers.
Sandvide Å, Åström S, Norberg A, Saveman B-I
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Science, vol. 18 (4): 351-357. : 2004 :

Elder Abuse in Residential Settings in Sweden.
Saveman B-I, Åström S, Bucht G, Norberg A
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, vol. 10 (1-2): 43-60. : 1999 :

Siebert, Darcy C, Mutran, Elisabeth J & Reitzes, Donald (1999)
Friendship and Social Support: The Importance of Role Identity to Aging Adults. Social Work, vol. 44, no. 6:522-533.


A Pilot study of birthday cards as vignettes: Methodological reflections on the elusive everyday ageism.
Snellman F, Johansson S, Kalman H
International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(7): 21-33. : 2012 :

Home care for older people in Sweden: a universal model in transition.
Szebehely M, Trydegård G-B
Health and Social Care in the Community, 20(3): 300-309. : 2012 :

Torres, Sandra (2006)
Elderly Immigrants in Sweden: ”Otherness” Under Construction. Journal of Ethnic Migration Studies, vol. 32, no. 8:1341-1358.


The 'Other' in end-of-life care: care providers on patients with migrant backgrounds.
Torres S, Ågård P, Milberg A
Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 37, no.2, p. 103-117. DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2016.1141756 : 2016 :

Twigg, Julia (2000)
Carework as a form of bodywork. Ageing & Society, vol. 20:389-411.


Whitaker Anna
The body as existential midpoint - the aging and dying body of nursing home residents. Journal of Aging Studies, 24, 2, 96-110
2010 :

Zink, Therese C, Jacobson, Jeff jr., Pabst, Saundra Regan, Fisher, Bonnie S (2006)
A Lifetime of Intimate Partner Violence: Coping Strategies of Older Women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 21, no. 5:634-651.