Curriculum Guideline


Effective Date:
Course Code
CSSW 2462
Community Social Service Work
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours: Lecture
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Small group discussion
  • Guest speakers
  • Student presentations
  • Use of multimedia resources.
Course Description
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of practice and policy issues in applied gerontology. The emphasis is on the role of social service workers assisting older adults and/or their families in home, community, or residential care settings. The learner will recognize the normal challenges and changes experienced by aging Canadians, examine their own aging process and become more familiar with current theories and principles in working with seniors in a multicultural society. Larger political and legislative forces will be examined in terms of how they impact services.
Course Content
  • The aging of the population makes it essential that families address the challenges faced by aging parents.
  • People have the capacity and right to make a continued contribution to society throughout the life span and families and communities are enriched by the involvement and wisdom of senior citizens.
  • Effective social service workers are committed to fostering the health, well-being, empowerment, and self-determination of seniors.
  • Social service work is committed to dispelling common myths about aging.
  • Effective social service workers are aware of their own values with respect to aging, spirituality, and death.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, within the following content areas, the student will be able to:

  1. Demographics of Aging:
    • describe historical and current aging trends in Canada and other countries
    • demonstrate an understanding of the impact of aging on society
    • describe ethnicity and its impact
  2. The Gendered Life Course:
    • demonstrate an understanding of gender differences in aging with respect to variables such as role, life expectancy, income, health, housing, and career disparity
    • apply individual and family theories of development to seniors
  3. Social Support and Aging:
    • describe how social support can be mobilized
    • describe caregiver stress
    • explain how social service workers can support caregivers
  4. Abuse and Neglect of Seniors:
    • describe the dynamics of abuse and neglect including self-neglect
    • identify how social service workers can act to prevent or deal with abuse and neglect
  5. Government Legislation:
    • Describe in basic terms, relevant legal concepts and process (e.g., power of attorney and living wills )
    • identify the essential elements of the Canadian economic security system
    • describe the health care system
    • describe the advocacy role of the social service worker   
  6. Seniors Housing:
    • identify options for safe and affordable housing
    • describe the challenges involved in the shift from independent to dependent living
    • describe the emotional, physical, and social adjustments associated with housing transition
  7. Mental and Physical Health:  
    • describe normative and non-normative mental and physical changes
    • describe end of life issues, including loss and the grieving process, and the role of the social service practitioner to help seniors through these transitions
    • describe the use/abuse of pharmaceuticals, alcohol, other drugs and potential interventions
    • describe the cultural context of aging as applied to health matters
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Examinations
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Research Paper
  • Individual  Presentations

 This is a letter graded course

Textbook Materials