Date of Paper

4-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Carol F. Kuechler

Abstract

With the impending explosion in the number of older adults in this country, new ways of understanding and serving this population are vital to success in clinical social work practice. This study explored the lived aging experience from the perspective of older adults in the context of gerotranscendence and successful aging. Nine older adults over the age of 80 were interviewed by the researcher. The findings of the study indicate the presence of gerotranscendence, and confirmed that it coincided with the concept of successful aging in all nine participants. Implications include the need for a more holistic understanding of older adults, policy development to support older adults in the community, agency policies that acknowledge and foster the development of gerotranscendence, further research on gerotranscendence and the economics of aging, assessments of providers currently using the principles of gerotranscendence in practice, needs assessments for future program development, and the development of educated and skilled professionals to address the diverse needs of older adults.

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