• Alexandru NEAGOE Conf. univ. dr. Alexandru Neagoe, Universitatea de Vest din Timişoara, Departamentul de Asistenţă Socială, Blvd. Vasile Pârvan Nr. 4, 300223, Timișoara. Tel. +40-256-592265.


family, social work, gerontology, change, systemic approach


The present article sets out to present a systemic perspective on the role which families play in the social care of elderly population. The article is based on relevant research in the field of social work and systemic practice. An opening section of the study highlights the ongoing significance of families in gerontological social work. Next, according to a family systems perspective, the whole family system is described both as a target for the social worker’s intervention (given the possibility that certain difficulties which the elderly encounter may be related to family dysfunctionalities) and also as a valuable resource in the effort of increasing the quality of life for the elderly. Thirdly, the article seeks to identify and analyse a number of issues which are particularly relevant in the social work with elderly people and their families. Finally, a concluding section brings together some of the main findings of the article.


Bătrân, D. (2010). Îmbătrânirea, un proces ireversibil. Revista de Administrație Publică și Politici Sociale, 1(3), 40-57.

Bódi, D.C. (2017). Persoanele vârstnice, resursă importantă în familie și societate, Editura Institutul European, Iași.

Bookman, A. and Kimbrel, D. (2011). Families and elder care in the twenty-first century. The Future of Children, 21(2), 117-40.

Bucur, V.M. (2007), Asistenţa socială în faţa vârstei a treia. In: Muntean, A. and Sagebiel, J. (coord.), Practici în asistenţa socială: România și Germania, Editura Polirom, Iaşi.

CNPV – Consiliul Național al Persoanelor Vârstnice (2015), Situația persoanelor vârstnice din România, available at: persoanelor_varstnice_din_Romania_MP.pdf

Fetterman, M. (2008). Becoming “parent of your parent”: an emotionally wrenching process, USA Today, Feb. 2.

Gal, D. (2003). Asistenţa socială a persoanelor vârstnice, Editura Todesco, Cluj-Napoca.

Gheţău, V. (2007). Declinul demografic şi viitorul populaţiei României, O perspectivă din anul 2007 asupra populaţiei României în secolul 21, Editura Alpha MDN, Buzău.

Gheţău, V. (2011). Câţi pensionari ar putea avea România până în 2030? Revista de Asistenţă Socială, X(3), 115-136.

Gîrleanu-Șoitu, D. (2006). Vârsta a treia, Editura Institutul European, Iași.

Hartman, A. and Laird, J. (1983). Family Centered Social Work Practice. The Free Press, New York.

Janzen, C. and Harris, O. (1997). Family Treatment in Social Work Practice. Third Edition, F.E. Peacock Publishers, Itasca, Illinois.

Macaulay, S. (2016). 12 Reasons elders are “abandoned” in long-term care. Available at:

Mândrilă, C.G. (2009). Procesul de îmbătânire din perspectiva asistenţei sociale, Editura ”Al. I. Cuza”, Iaşi.

Merrill, D.M. (1997). Caring for Elderly Parents: Juggling Work, Family, and Caregiv-ing in Middle and Working Class Families. Auburn House, Westport, Connecticut.

Moroney, R. (1980). Families, Social Services, and Social Policy: The Issue of Shared Responsibility. National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Maryland.

Mureşan, C. Rotariu, T, Rebeleanu, A., Hărăguş, M., Hărăguş, T. (2009). Situaţia vârstnicilor în România, Fundaţia Principesa Margareta, Bucureşti.

Mureșan, M.R. (2012). Vârsta a treia, între autonomie și vulnerabilitate (teză de doctorat), Universitatea Babes-Bolyai, Cluj Napoca.

Neagoe, A. (2007). Asistența socială a familiei: o abordare sistemică. Editura Uni-versității de Vest, Timișoara.

Newman, S. (1975). Housing Adjustments of Older People: A Report of Findings from the Second Phase. Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.

Runcan, P.L. (2013). Depression in the Elderly. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Snelling, S. (2016). Multigenerational Living Is Back And That's A Good Thing. Next Avenue, Oct. 9.

Stanciu, C. (2008). Noțiuni introductive în asistența socială gerontologică, Editura Solness, Timișoara.

Sussman, M.B. (1977). Family, Beaurocracy, and the Elderly Individual: An Organiza-tional Linkage Perspective. In: Shanas E. and Sussman M.B. (Eds.). Family, Bureauc-racy, and the Elderly, Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina, 2-20.

Zastrow, C. and Kirst-Ashman, K.K. (2010). Understanding Human Behaviour and the Social Environment, Eigth Edition, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, California.

Additional Files