Rundabordssamtal 7

Decision making practices In gerontological social work


Dr. Anna Olaison CESAR- Centre for Social Work. Uppsala University, Sweden,

Dr. Elin Nilsson  CESAR- Centre for Social Work. Uppsala University, Sweden,

Guests: Dr Annika Taghizadeh Larsson Linköpings university, Dr. Johannes Österholm Linköpings University and Dr. Tove Harnett Lunds university 


This symposium addresses challenges embedded in decision making practices within gerontological social work.

The symposium consists of four presentations that highlight different, yet interrelated aspects of social justice in decision making processes in gerontological social work practice. The first presentation analyses how social workers who assess needs of older people in intraprofessional case conferences discuss risks related to making decisions for care/services during COVID-19 pandemic. The second presentation examines how social workers balance situations in which spouses in couples express opposing views on individual and/or shared needs for formal support from elder care services. The presentation also raises issues of how to ensure an effective practice and support consistent opportunities for participation in the decision making processes for this specific group of older people. The third presentation discusses decision processes within social work case files and how older people’s needs are presented in case files based on foreign-born or native background, gender and age in order to motivate coherent and professional judgements in social work documentation. The last presentation examines age as an organizing principle and social workers moral arguments for granting services for older people based on age instead of needs. 

During the symposium we will bring the four presentations together in a discussion about challenges and possibilities for enabling social justice and human rights in combination with policies and local guidelines when making assessments and decisions for care/services for older people. The presentations contribute to current research and debates about the development of decision making practices in gerontological social work and has implications for the organization of care and services for older people in a changing welfare society.

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