Singapore University of Social Sciences

Theory and Practice of Gerontological Social Work

Theory and Practice of Gerontological Social Work (SWK559)


SWK559 Theory and Practice of Gerontological Social Work introduces individual ageing and adaptation to ageing in everyday life. It adopts a biopsychosocial perspective in understanding the impact of ageing on the individual and the family. Physical, cognitive, psychological and social changes and deficits consequent to ageing can complicate coping in the individual and the family. Evaluating the impact of ageing, intervening to mitigate the impact of ageing and enhancing individual and family coping are critical in optimizing the ageing experience. The role of policy and organization of formal help services are discussed and appraised for how they facilitate care for the elderly in Singapore and promote ageing-in-place. The integration of clinical and macro-level knowledge will allow the students comprehensive understanding of the care of the elderly and develop their skills for work in this challenging area.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Ageing trends in Singapore
  • Singapore’s Framework on Ageing
  • Integration of elder care services
  • Understanding the Bio-Psychosocial-Spiritual Framework
  • Applying the Bio-Psychosocial-Spiritual Framework
  • Social work practice with families of the elderly
  • Challenges of Elder Living in the Community
  • Social issues in ageing
  • Psychological issues in ageing
  • Social and psychological issues in ageing
  • End-of-life impact on the elderly and family
  • Ethical Issues in Elder Care

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss demographic and ageing trends in Singapore.
  • Assess impact of aging on the individual and family.
  • Appraise the impact of caregiving on the family.
  • Examine end-of-life issues in ageing.
  • Formulate biopsychosocial-spiritual assessment and intervention.
  • Evaluate the care of elderly in Singapore.
  • Analyse ethical issues in elder care.
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