We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more


Social Work Practice in Nursing Homes

Creativity, Leadership, and Program Development

Julie Sahlins

Publication Date - 01 July 2010

ISBN: 9780190616342

192 pages
5.8 x 8.8 inches


A social worker's place within the hierarchy of a nursing home is not always clear, yet the responsibilities are tremendous. Using her almost 20 years of experience as a social worker, Julie Sahlins helps readers narrow the gap between academic training and real-world practice.

Social Work Practice in Nursing Homes presents a practical paradigm with a strong focus on creative use of the professional self, program development, and collaboration to meet the needs of a population that is often vulnerable, frail and isolated. Sahlins combines a solid analysis of systemic issues in this complex setting, an understanding of the developmental needs of clients, and clear, logical advice that makes it possible to practice transformative social work. Here, finally, are answers to the constraints placed on social workers in nursing homes-a new way of doing old business.


  • Contains clearly illustrated concepts, such as reminiscence-based group work, that enable practitioners to use these clinical concepts in the field
  • Presents a strong conceptual framework for documentation
  • Offers tips and examples for collaborating with other staff members and families of residents
  • Addresses the wide range of social work roles within the nursing home, helping practitioners to reframe and define their roles

About the Author(s)

Julie Sahlins (MSW, Simmons College) has worked primarily with the elderly in a variety of nursing home settings. She is currently employed as clinical social worker at the Chelsea Soldiers' Home. Julie enjoys volunteering in the community and has recently returned to her art. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her two feline assistants.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: The Social Worker in the Nursing Home System
    Chapter 2: New Approaches to Nursing Home Social Work
    Chapter 3: Reminiscence and Reminiscence Groups
    Chapter 4: The Art of Social Work
    Chapter 5: Specialized Resident Programs
    Chapter 6: Programs for Staff
    Chapter 7: Programs for Families
    Chapter 8: Creating and Sustaining Community in the Nursing Home
    Chapter 9: The Art of Paperwork
    Chapter 10: Evaluating
    Chapter 11: Structures of Support
    Chapter 12: Final Thoughts