|   View web version
Social Work Today e-Newsletter
Subscribe or Renew
Give a Gift
Digital Edition
January 2018 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
There has been growing awareness of the need to carefully respect the wishes of individuals at the end of life; however, a population that is often overlooked in this area is aging adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

This month’s E-News Exclusive reports on a recent study from the University of Buffalo School of Social Work of this group examining the perspectives of emergency medical services providers. The study explored organizational barriers, autonomy issues, and ethical questions that surfaced in their research. Read about the concerns that social workers and medical professionals should be aware of when working with this vulnerable population.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website, including our new Peer Perspectives section, at; like our Facebook page; and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
End-of-Life Care for Aging Adults With Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities
By Anna Panzo, MSW, LCSW

One of the advantages of modern medicine is the ever-evolving improvement in health care and medical treatments. With these advances, many people are living longer and healthier lives, and consequently, the population of older adults around the world is increasing. Medical improvements have prolonged life expectancy not only for the general population but also for aging adults living with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDDs).

As the overall number of older adults around the world and in the United States rapidly grows, more attention is being given to end-of-life care for aging people. Regardless of an individual’s circumstances, end-of-life care requires sensitivity, compassion, and a respect for life, dignity, and autonomy. However, for aging adults living with IDDs, end-of-life care can become even more nuanced and complex.

Three individuals at the University of Buffalo explored some of these nuances and complexities through researching the perspective of emergency medical services (EMS) providers. The study was a collaboration among Deborah Waldrop, PhD, a professor and associate dean for faculty development at the School of Social Work; Jacqueline McGinley, MSW, a PhD candidate at the School of Social Work; and Brian Clemency, DO, MBA, FACEP, FAEMS, an associate professor and director of the EMS fellowship program at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Waldrop, McGinley, and Clemency specifically explored the perspectives of EMS providers who responded to emergency calls for aging adults with IDDs who had a terminal illness. In March 2017, the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities published their study, “Emergency Medical Services Providers’ Perspective on End-of-Life Decision Making for People With Intellectual Disabilities.”

Full Story »
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in Social Work Today
Hospice Social Work in Nursing Homes
Designed for restorative care, nursing homes are often unprepared to meet the needs of dying patients and their families. However, hospice social workers can help fill that gap. Read more »

Working With Adoptive Parents — Missteps and Guidelines
Adoptive parents face many special challenges. A clinician specializing in adoption issues discusses how social workers can counsel on those issues. Read more »
Other News
Mental Health Parity in Question as Insurers Narrow Pool of Participating Therapists
According to The Washington Post, due to low reimbursement rates, mental health and substance abuse professionals are unwilling to contract with insurers, resulting in insurance plans with narrow behavioral health networks that do not include enough therapists and other caregivers to meet the demands of patients.

Study Shows Dementia Risk Lower for Married People
The Los Angeles Times reports on a study showing that dementia risk was significantly lower for married people than for adults who remained single their entire lives. Husbands and wives also fared better than widowers and widows, researchers found.

Is the ‘Gateway Drug’ Theory Making a Comeback?
According to The New York Times, despite attempts by politicians and some researchers to revive the “Gateway Drug” theory, experts still recommend that people focus on psychological and mental issues not being treated and ask whether the person is using substances as a form of self-medication.

CDC: 15 Million American Children Have a Diagnosable Behavioral Disorder, 20% Receive Treatment
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in five American children ages 3–17 (about 15 million) have a diagnosable behavioral disorder in a given year. Eighty percent—about 12 million—aren't receiving treatment, according to NBCNews.
Tech & Tools
Video Game Improves Balance in Youth With Autism

Playing a video game that rewards participants for holding various “ninja” poses could help children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) improve their balance, according to a recent study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison.

Balance challenges are more common among people with ASD compared with the broader population, according to study lead author Brittany Travers, PhD, and difficulties with balance and postural stability are commonly thought to relate to more severe ASD symptoms and impaired activities in daily living.

“We think this video game-based training could be a unique way to help individuals with ASD who have challenges with their balance address these issues,” says Travers, an investigator at UW-Madison’s Waisman Center and an assistant professor of kinesiology.

In this pilot study—the largest ever to look at the effects of balance training on individuals with ASD—29 participants aged 7­–17 with ASD completed a six-week training program playing a video game developed by the researchers.

Read more »
Advertising Opportunities
Have a product, service, or educational program you want to market to social work professionals, or an open position that you need to fill quickly? Social Work Today offers many flexible advertising programs designed to maximize your results. From print advertising to e-newsletter sponsorships, website advertising to direct mail opportunities, Social Work Today helps achieve your goals. Email our experienced account executives today for more information or call 800-278-4400!

Coming up in our March/April 2018 issue is our Annual Education Guide. Email a sales representative to be part of this unique advertising opportunity. is the premier online resource to recruit social work professionals. Post your open positions, view résumés, and showcase your facility's offerings all at!
Featured Jobs
The nation's top employers and recruiters of social workers advertise in Social Work Today magazine and post their job openings on Check out the most recent opportunities that have been submitted by employers across the country!
Continuing Education
Social Work Today's CE program offers social workers the opportunity to earn CEs from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Visit today and join the thousands of professionals from across the country who already have taken advantage of this great program.

Simply read an issue of the magazine and complete the online exam. Most issue exams will earn 2 CE credits! PLUS, you have the opportunity to earn CE credits from past issues, too!
Gift Shop
Social workers care about their clients, but rarely do they have time to care about themselves. Show yourself a little appreciation with field-inspired gear from our Gift Shop. We've got the perfect item for every situation from busy days in the office to at-home visits. Check out our secure online shop today or call toll-free 877-809-1659 for easy and fast ordering.