Maatskaplike groepwerk aan alkoholafhanklike bejaardes ooreenkomstig die sterkteperspektief
Geyer, Lourens Stephanus
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The strengths perspective is one of the practice perspectives in Social Work that pleads for change of heart and spirit in social work service delivery. This perspective entails, among others, that the strengths and potential of clients to grow, to change and to develop, enjoy the unconditional recognition of social workers. In service delivery to clients who experience a wide variety of needs and challenges, this perspective is already used very fruitfully worldwide, but especially in the USA. An example is homeless people. Notwithstanding opinions that social work service delivery t o alcohol dependent elderly people is unnecessary as a result of poor prognosis, some authors are of the opinion that elderly people who are facilitated from a strengths perspective often have a better prognosis than their younger equals. Against this background a research need was identified to set guidelines for a uniquely designed facilitating or group work programme directed at alcohol dependent elderly people. This type of research furthermore is reconcilable with a focus area (Focus area 9.1) in the fortology that was developed by the PU for CHE, Faculty of Health Sciences. In order to attain this purpose, the following objectives needed to be accomplished: = To establish, by means of a literature study and an empirical investigation, what the causal factors are that lead to alcohol dependency before and after advanced age. This objective was reached by involving 30 alcohol dependent elderly people and 18 social work participants with whom interview schedules were completed. The opinions of these two groups of participants were compared by calculating effect sizes (d values). It was found that these two groups held large and practical significant differences of opinion regarding the causes of alcohol dependency. To establish, by means of a literature study and an empirical investigation, what the consequences of alcohol dependency are among the elderly. This objective was reached by following a method similar to that of the study of the causal factors of alcohol dependency. It was found that the two groups of participants also held large and practical significant differences of opinion regarding the consequences of alcohol dependency. From these findings needs were identified that should be treated during social group work services in order to prevent relapse of alcohol abuse. To identify, by means of a literature study and an empirical investigation, the needs and challenges of alcohol dependent elderly people, on which a group work programme can be based. In order to reach this objective, interview schedules were completed with alcohol dependent elderly participants. An extensive profile of this client group was compiled by jointly using a survey procedure and case study. Several strengths of alcohol dependent elderly people were identified, such as children and grandchildren who served as support systems. Besides this, several needs were identified, such as effective communication and social skills that can improve the social functioning of this client system. = To establish, by means of a literature study and an empirical investigation, what qualities the strengths perspective has in order to make social group work possible. This objective was reached in that several of the qualities of the strengths perspective that can be applied very fruitfully in social group work services with alcohol dependent elderly people, were discovered in the available literature. Opposed to this, it was found that although this perspective holds many advantages for the alcohol dependent elderly person, it is presently not practised at registered treatment centres in South Africa that were involved in this investigation. The reasons are, among others, that social work practitioners are not familiar with the strengths perspective, together with the fact that the problem-centred approach currently dominates social work service delivery to the addicted person. * To investigate, by means of a literature study and an empirical investigation, the qualities of social group work in which the strengths perspective can be accommodated on the one hand and meaningful services to the elderly can be made possible on the other hand. This objective was reached in that it was found from both the literature study and empirical investigation that social group work, as a primary method of Social Work, has such an extensive capacity that it can be applied meaningfully in the facilitation of this client system. To set guidelines for a group work programme in accordance with the strengths perspective, aimed at alcohol dependent elderly people. This objective was reached by providing guidelines for eleven group work meetings. On the one hand these above-mentioned guidelines are based on the needs and strengths determined by means of this investigation, and on the other hand, it was presented in the spirit of the strengths perspective. Conclusively it was found from this investigation that the needs and strengths of alcohol dependent elderly people could be treated by means of social group work services from a strengths perspective. It seems to be possible because both social group work and the strengths perspective have qualities that can be applied to the advantage of alcohol dependent elderly people.
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