Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith


Social Work


There are an increasing number of older adults who are facing major life transitions and significant losses as they age. Finding a sense of hope among the losses and changes these older adults face is one way they can maintain a quality of life or as some researchers have termed it – successfully age. Social workers are often the front line workers with these older adults and therefore can play an integral role in fostering a sense of hope. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand social workers’ perspectives on their role in fostering a sense of hope among older adults in long-term care facilities. Seven social workers participated in individual semi-structured, flexible interviews, answering ten questions regarding their perspectives of the needs, losses, strengths and hope of older adults in long-term care facilities and how their knowledge and perceptions of those categories influenced their practice. The interviews with these social workers uncovered themes of resilience, family, purpose, humor, time and physical presence and community. Developing an increased understanding of each of these areas will assist social workers as they continue to work with and prepare to work with the increasing population of older adults and their need for hope to maintain a quality life.

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Social Work Commons