Reflections on Aging from Both Sides Now

  • F. Ellen Netting Professor EmeritaVirginia Commonwealth UniversitySchool of Social Work
  • Jane M. Thibault
Keywords: assessment, engagement, friendship, gerontology, retirement


As professional colleagues in gerontological social work and close personal friends, the authors jointly reflect on their own aging process as retirees. They revisit the theories they used to understand aging and the tools they used to assess older adults. The authors relook at aging theories and assessment instruments now that they are being used to understand their own lives. They share their reflections on the ongoing self-reassessments in which they seem to be engaging every time they have a conversation with one another.

Author Biographies

F. Ellen Netting, Professor EmeritaVirginia Commonwealth UniversitySchool of Social Work

F.Ellen Netting is Professor Emerita in Social Work and the former Samuel S. Wurtzel EndowedChair at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where she taught in the B.S.W.,M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs for 19 years, having previously taught 10 years atArizona State University. Her practice experience includes directing a county office on aging, directing a foster grandparent program, serving as the trainer for a 16 county area agency on aging, and consulting with numerous local and state health and human service organizations. She received her B.A. from Duke University, her M.S.S.W. from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and her Ph.D. from The University of Chicago. She is the co-author of eight, and co-editor of four books, and has published over 180 book chapters and refereed journal articles. She continues to collaborate on a leading textbook, Social Work Macro Practice, now in its fifth edition (2012) and used in 120 schools of social work throughout the UnitedStates. She received the VCU Distinguished Scholar Award in 1997; was elected to the National Academy of Social Work Practice as a Distinguished Scholar in 1998; and received The Recent Contributions to Scholarship Award at the Counci lon Social Work Education's Annual Program Meeting in 2005. Her scholarship has focused on health and human service delivery issues for frail elders, as well as nonprofit management and voluntarism, primarily in religiously affiliatedagencies. She was co-investigator for The John A. Hartford Foundation Primary CarePhysician Initiative, a national demonstration on primary care physician practice in geriatrics, in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team of researchers. She has served on the editorial boards of Nonprofit Management and Leadership, The Journal of Community Practice, The Journal of Applied Gerontology, The Journal of Gerontological Social Work, and The Journal of Religious Gerontology, is consulting editor for The Journal of Social Work Education and Social Work, and continues to review articles for numerous journals in the areas of social work, nonprofit management, and aging.

Jane M. Thibault

Dr. Jane M. Thibault is Associate Professor Emerita, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Department of Family Practice