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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Older African Americans and Other Black Populations

Older African Americans and Other Black Populations

(p.247) 20 Older African Americans and Other Black Populations
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Letha A. Chadiha

Edna Brown

Maria P. Aranda

Oxford University Press

The Black elderly population (i.e. African Americans, Caribbean and African immigrants) aged 65 years or older comprises the largest group of elders of color in the United States. Growth in population size, as well as in age and cultural diversity, of the Black elderly population, presents both challenges and opportunities for effective service delivery by social workers to these Americans. This chapter addresses the special concerns of social work practice with older Blacks while taking into account the ethnic diversity within the U.S. Black elderly population. In order to address such concerns, it is essential to preface them with a discussion on certain salient issues in empirical literature on the older Black population. These issues, which form major subheadings in this chapter, include: the expansion and subsequent cultural heterogeneity of the older Black population; social, demographic, and economic characteristics; physical health and mental health status, as well as access to health care; and family, church, and religion as sources of informal support to older Blacks.

Keywords:   aging, elderly, Blacks, Black Americans, social work practice

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