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Mental Health Policy and Older Adults Teaching Module

This teaching module contains PowerPoint slides with teaching notes, a teaching script, and additional resource materials that include information regarding social policy issues as they relate to older adults. Specific topics included are demographics; theories of and about aging (continuity, developmental, disengagement, activity and gerotranscendence theory); retirement and income security; health problems; disability and other programs for the aged; racial and ethnic diversity and issues for the aged; advocacy organizations for the aged; Social Security (OASDI); poverty rates of the elderly by race; Medicare; Medicaid; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); home health care and nursing homes; mental health and the aged, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, delirium, psychosis (schizophrenia or bipolar disorder), depression, and substance abuse. Services, life expectancy, racial and ethnic diversity, and causes of death for the aged are listed. Advocacy organizations, websites, and resources for further reading are offered. A quiz, guidelines for student discussion, critical thinking exercises, and test questions are offered.

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  • Identification and understanding of major policies and eligibility that provide funding for aging programs and services including the following:

                        (a) Income maintenance policies: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
                        (b) Health care policies: Medicare and Medicaid
                        (c) Private and nonprofit health and social services

  • Ability to ensure appropriate access, utilization, continuity, coordination, and monitoring of the continuum of public resources for older persons.
  • Ability to relate social work perspectives and theories to practice with older adults (e.g., person-in-environment, social justice, strengths-based perspective).