GWL212 - Interviewing and Assessing Older Adults

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Last revision date Sep 24, 2020 9:20:25 AM
Last review date Sep 24, 2020 9:20:25 AM

Subject Title
Interviewing and Assessing Older Adults

Subject Description
This course introduces students to the principles and practice of interviewing for social service, paying attention to issues relating to the aging population.  Students will practice the elements of intentional interviewing to obtain the client's story, help them identify goals, and re-story to make changes to improve quality of life. The course encourages reflection on the interviewer's influence on the client, and the impact on clients that result from conclusions made from interviews and assessments. Basic interview skills will be practiced including active listening skills and effective techniques to obtain client information.

In addition, student will become familiar with various assessment tools commonly used in the field to determine eligibility and suitability for programs and services including entry into long term care, adult day programs and home supports. Assessments for physical function, ability to perform activities of daily living, cognitive abilities, psychological issues and social isolation will be introduced. The course will familiarize students with the Resident Assessment Index (RAI) which is the standard assessment tool legislated by the Ontario government for use in long term care facilities, and the RAI CHA (Community Home Assessment) used by social service agencies. Students will have the opportunity to apply the skills learned. All practice interviewing and role plays are expected to follow inclusivity practice, cultural sensitivity, awareness and OCSWSSW Standards of Practice.

Credit Status
One Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Comprehend the interview and assessment as a social service worker intervention tool as shown on tests
  2. Understand the purposes of/ and differences between interviews and assessments as shown on tests and class activities such as roleplays
  3. Give informed consent in class activities
  4. Understand ethical and practical issues relating to interviewing and assessing older adults as shown on tests
  5. Understand and apply the microskills of interviewing in class activities such as mock interviews, role plays and the transcript assignment
  6. Conduct a complete interview using the five stages of an interview in the transcript assignment
  7. Identify commonly used assessments in the field of gerontology on tests and through in class practices
  8. Administer basic assessments through role plays and assignments
  9. Understand the Inter Rai suite of assessments. through use of case studies, and on tests
  10. Apply cultural competency and inclusiveness while interviewing and assessing clients including confidentiality, self-determination, acceptance, and non judgementalism during in class role plays, mock interviews and on assignments

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Execute mathematical operations accurately.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.