Socialno delo Journal is the only scientific periodical publication for social work in Slovenia. It's been published since 1961. Four issues are published per year: 1 (Jan-Mar), 2 (Apr-Jun), 3 (Jul-Sep), 4 (Oct-Dec). Abstracts are included in data bases: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences IBSS), Sociological Abstracts and EBSCO SocIndex with Full Text. The journal is published by Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana. Journal is so-financed by Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS).

ISSN 0352-7956

year 61, No.2-3

INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE

Jana Mali, Anamarija Kejžar

/ - Pg. 125 - 127

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

Jana Mali

Overview and analysis of current concepts in social work with people with dementia - Pg. 129 - 146Keywords: destigmatisation, participation, emancipation, empowerment, long-term care, anti-discrimination

The article presents the research project "Long-term care of people with dementia in social work theory and practice", the first Slovene national study in the field of research on the social dimensions of dementia. The first part presents the conceptual background of social work, which is the link between social work with people with dementia and the paradigmatic changes in long-term care. The second part presents the importance of the development of long-term care for people with dementia, the third part presents the purpose and objectives of the research project, and the fourth part elaborates the conceptual background, which is the basic guiding principle of the research in the project. Particular emphasis is placed on the methodological selection of current foreign scientific articles dealing with the topic presented, which have been published in the last twenty years in English. The results of the analysis show that three conceptual orientations prevail in the field of social work with people with dementia: (1) exploration of needs, (2) destigmatisation and anti-discrimination of people with dementia, and (3) participation of people with dementia in processes of help and support. In the concluding part, the author relates the findings of the analysis to the contemporary starting points of social work with people with dementia in Slovenia.

Vito Flaker

Dementia – a reason for deinstitutionalisation - Pg. 147 - 163Keywords: total institution, subjectivity, action identity, heuristic model

Dementia is often the ultimate argument for the need of institutions. However, dementia is not a "disease" that would need an institutional care, and institutions are not an environment of decisive advantage, and the placement in an institution is not the result of a "deterioration" of the state – it is a consequence of the discontinuity of the system, the lack of intensive services in the community, the "drama of institutionalisation" accompanied by reification of human beings and encouraged by the quest for profit. Quite the contrary, institutions can be described as a "machine of oblivion", a foundation of alienation, passivation and intensification of the very difficulties that are usually attributed to the disease process. On the basis of this critique, the author sketches specific elements of deinstitutionalisation in the case of dementia and proposes a heuristic theorem for the research and action in this field. The transition to the community means transforming the modelling of dementia, providing a safe space, adequate intensity of support, a conjunction of informal care and professional interventions, enabling alternative subjectivity and new solidarity. Research and action in the field of dementia should stem from the life-world of so labelled people, and transversely address the variety of plateaus of action. It should focus on the equally transversal phenomena of supplanting the loss of subjectivity and territorial insertion, while also addressing the more fundamental issues of the bifurcation of contemplative and action identity.

Liljana Rihter

An overview of the results of the final theses of students of the Faculty of Social Work on social work with people with dementia - Pg. 165 - 183Keywords: long-term care, old people, methods of work, institutionalisation, research

A meta-analysis of students' theses from the past five years (2016–2020) on the topic of social work with people with dementia is presented. Among the themes explored, work in institutions as well as work in the family setting of people with dementia predominate; community work topics emerge to a lesser extent. Thus, the role of social work and the use of social work methods are researched somewhat more in institutions, but again, only in individual institutions. However, this topic does not appear in research on people with dementia in the home setting. Most research is qualitative and based on non-random convenience samples using interviews as the method of data collection. Often, students explore the challenges and needs of those involved in caring for people with dementia, but with less emphasis on numbers. In the future, the focus will need to be on research on community and on (social) work with people with dementia in their home environments, and the use of social work methods and other forms of work with people with dementia need to be explored in more depth.

Benjamin Penič, Sintija Munđar

Identity of people with dementia: opportunity for empowerment - Pg. 185 - 202Keywords: social work, living environment, social environment, social identity, personal identity, long-term care

Human identity is dynamic, fleeting, and changeable and is formed in social contexts. People with dementia are considered a vulnerable group with a less stable identity due to the nature of the disease, often causing their individuality to be disregarded. Systematic review of the literature shows that the living and social environments play an important role in the consolidation, maintenance, and reconstruction of the identity of people with dementia. Interactions of people with dementia with their living and social environments enable them to learn new strategies for expressing their identity, while social capital remains a valuable source of power in the process of identity expression, consolidation, or reconstruction. The narratives of people with dementia contribute to the preservation of their personal identity and enable reviving memories. The opportunity to share experiences and participate in social interactions serves as recognition of their uniqueness and provides them a sense of worth and value. People with dementia want to participate and engage in activities, as many are an essential building block of their identity. Successful completion of activities also helps maintain a positive self-image and experience their own worth.

Jana Mali, Benjamin Penič

Responses of social work to measures for containing the Covid-19 epidemic in homes for old people - Pg. 203 - 221Keywords: institutional care, long-term care, social isolation, advocacy, anti-covid measures, ethical dilemmas

The first part of the article shows how the covid-19 epidemic revived ideas about the development of social work with old people. More frequent violations of human rights, increasing discrimination of old people, and searching for answers to the increasingly severe hardships of the social isolation of the old people – these are topics that call for the establishment of specialization for social work with old people. The development of specialized knowledge also benefits the development of social work in homes for old people. Some key practices for the development of new areas of social work in homes are shown. In the central part of the paper, research with social workers in Slovenian homes is described and the results of the epidemic's impact on social work are presented. The article presents the key challenges for social work, how social work maintains its role at organizing institutional care and what are the most pressing ethical dilemmas of social work. Both the shortcomings and advantages of social work are shown in order to recognize the existing risks for social work as an opportunity for further development of the profession.

Anže Štancar

Impact of Covid-19 epidemic on the lives of residents of homes for old people - Pg. 223 - 235Keywords: institucionalisation, old people, social work, social isolation, mental health

The year 2020 was marked by the Covid-19 epidemic, which had the greatest impact on socially vulnerable groups, especially old people. Based on qualitative research, the article explains the impact of measures to curb the Covid-19 epidemic on the lives of old people in the Ajdovščina Home for the Old People. During this period, social work found itself in a difficult situation and was forced to respond. In institutions for old people, it found itself in an unenviable position, as it had to adapt very quickly to new challenges - to maintain contact in a time that severely limited physical contact, and to enable communication between residents and their loved ones. The article connects homes for old people with the concept of a total institution and shows how social work in the home for old people coped with challenges during the Covid-19 epidemic. The impact of epidemiological measures and social isolation on people's mental health and everyday life is shown. The fundamental tasks of social workers in crisis situations are listed.

PROFESSIONAL ARTICLES

Anamarija Kejžar

Use of stimulating activities in social work with people with dementia - Pg. 237 - 247Keywords: non-pharmacological activities, personal plan of care, creative methods, antipsychotics

With growing number of cases of dementia, social work with people with dementia faces new challenges in maintaining dignity in the lives of people with dementia and their families. The article discusses the importance of continuous implementation of various stimulating activities for people with dementia in homes for older people (which are also suitable for implementation in home environment), and their well-being, maintenance of self-worth and self-esteem. Stimulating activities are non-pharmacological forms of care and include various areas: daily tasks (in household and garden), physical exercise, cognitive exercises, as well as complementary activities such as: music and visual arts activities, playing with babies, incorporating modern information technologies, aromatherapy. Stimulating activities can be provided by social workers, occupational therapists and other professionals. Their goal is to maintain cognitive abilities, slow the progression of dementia, and promote well-being of people with dementia. In stimulating activities, the person with dementia, together with a professional, discovers activities that they can manage and enjoy. This leads to reduction in the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Ivona Balent, Barbara Gungl, Lara Horvat

Old people living alone: consequences and prevention - Pg. 249 - 256Keywords: social intervention, old age, social isolation, social support, mental health, independent living

Important findings in the field of solitary life in old age and the problem of loneliness are presented. Difficulties experienced by old people due to loneliness should not be neglected and their impact on their physical and mental health and general wellbeing needs to be addressed. Therefore some interventions are described that proved to be effective in preventing negative consequences of loneliness among the elderly. As the social network is very important for the health of the old, the most successful interventions are those based on strengthening the social support of old people (for example cooperation within associations, providing support to others, multigenerational households).

BOOK REVIEW

Liljana Rihter

/ - Pg. 257 - 259

IN MEMORIAM

Vito Flaker

/ - Pg. 261 - 268