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Abstract

Planning for future care is an important aspect of professional practice with older adults, and social workers play a key role in helping elders engage in future care planning (FCP). This study examined geriatric social service professionals’ practices and perspectives on helping older rural Appalachians plan for care needs in later life. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 case managers who live and work in southeast Ohio, a part of rural north central Appalachia. Themes related to efforts made to assist elders with FCP include: a) valuing client self-determination; b) developing positive helping relationships; and c) using initial crises to encourage FCP. Practice implications for rural social work professionals are included.

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