Case Studies / Activities


The following exercise may be used by a group or in pairs and will help participants to consider the range of issues raised in this chapter. The following 10 statements briefly describe a range of referrals you may receive as a social worker, for people over 65. Decide the level of priority (1 being the least and 10 the highest) you give to each scenario and give reasons. You should place these in order, none having equal priority. To expand the exercise you might also want to consider in each case: who is at risk? Who else might you involve? What else you need to know?

  • Mr Ahmed lives in a residential home. He is a Muslim and has complained of racism and insensitivity to his cultural needs. Furthermore he has told his doctor he feels suicidal.
  • Criminal justice services have referred Mr Osborne, a convicted sex offender due for release from prison in 4 weeks. He has some care needs and uses a wheelchair. He has no accommodation.
  • Mrs Japp is clinically obese. Her daughter has referred her because her mood is low, she seems to have stopped eating and fluid intake is minimal.
  • Ms Jones is to be discharged from hospital tomorrow. She has had a fractured femur and could not use the toilet in her house because it is too low.
  • Mr Phung’s family are going on holiday in six weeks and want assistance at home for him while they are away. They ‘keep an eye on him’ and do ‘everything’ for him. He doesn’t want to go into respite care.
  • Mrs James has dementia and has been referred by her son because she was found wandering last night. It is also noted that a couple of nights ago she had thrown her husband out of the house because she did not know who he was.
  • The local sheltered housing project has referred Mr MacKay who they are considering evicting, because he is drinking excessively and has ‘disruptive friends’ coming round.
  • The hospital has phoned to say that Mr Harvey, who has pancreatic cancer, wishes to come home to die and that as part of the local ‘gold standard’ agreement they plan to discharge him tomorrow. He requires a wide range of home care services.
  • The bank has contacted duty social work to say that Mrs Grieves, a well-known customer, came in with her son, known locally as a drug user, and withdrew £10,000, nearly all the money from her main bank account.
  • Police referred Mr Collins who has dementia and has been ‘befriended’ by local teenage girls, whom he is letting into his house. He is reported to be giving them alcohol and cigarettes.

Case Studies and Activities