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Dementia is one of the most common problems faced by the elderly people. Old age people who are suffering from this problem need the care and support of the family and the society. In this essay, I will discuss the role of ethical decision making in the context of ethical practices to solve the issues related to the above-mentioned health problem of elderly people. Along with that, I would be writing about the role of the family member and social workers to support the sufferer for overcoming the problem. The purpose of adopting different ethical theories is to ensure the social safety and security of the elderly people. I am intending to provide the critical analysis of adopting those social theories for the problem of that particular age group with the support of different evidence. 

Critical analysis on the points of the need of ethical theories in social work 

There are several theories to help the social worker for the effective decision making in different social issues related to the particular age group. Among them, two values of ethics are Deontology Continuing Value and Social work ethics (semanticscholar.org, 2018). The value of Kantian deontological ethics is supported by Kant's ethical theory. The theory has focused on the individual role of all the social worker to a social issue. According to the theory, the reason for some social issue usually being kept in the central, upon which action has to be taken. It also supports the moral decision-making ability of a social worker based on the practical values instead of depending on emotional values. Handling issues with emotion may be an indication of the unprofessionalism of the worker. Thus the entire single individual has to be kind, confident and practical while taking an effective decision on a social issue. As stated by Dolgoff, Harrington & Loewenberg (2012), the social worker supposed to respect the client's thought before making a decision in favour of his/her. The relationship between the client and the worker can be improved by respecting each other's decision and by providing freedom to the client to talk openly with the worker. This is also supported by the ethical code of the social work profession.  Thus by the support of this theory, the principle values and ethics of social work duty can be a helpful measure to motivate the client to participate in different social practices.  I have evaluated that from the ethical theory that the role of social workers depends on the target group for whom the worker is working. The old age people are the susceptible group of people who suffer from a lot of physical and mental health issues together according to the age. The family members feel embarrassed to make the sufferer involve in social events. I think that it leads to the lonely feeling and depression among the elderly. The social workers can arrange the physical and mental care to that person either in a care home or the person's own resident based on the person's demand. According to me, this can create a bond of trust between the two which leads to encouraging the affected person to be a part of social events. As stated by Marston & McDonald (2012) the ethical code, ‘Respect for Human Dignity and Worth’ made by Australian Association of Social workers have supported the statement.   Along with that, I feel the awareness and training of the family member to support the affected person, is also a duty of the social workers. The creation of a bond of trust and love between the client and his/her family member can make the effective participation of the social worker into a problem issue. I think like this way the ethical practices in a context of ethical theories would be justified. 

The theory of social work involves all the social care and ethical values to solve a social issue. As stated by Shapiro & Stefkovich (2016), the role of social workers has appreciated but in some cases, their role to support a socially degraded group of people has been questioned. As stated by Sue, Rasheed & Rasheed (2015), the clearly mentioned ethical values are required for avoiding such doubts on the role of social worker for the needy. According to the theory of social work, it considers managing all the aspects to maintain a good bond with the client such as the issues related to communication, rejection, understanding of the client's issue with patience and also provision of effective suggestion in order to solve the problem. According to my analysis, the role of social worker would be considered as virtuous practices and ethically correct when all the above-mentioned issues would be met by the worker. I think the social work theory is supportive to the clients to demand the right to care, right to be heard by the social worker in their social issues. In case of an elderly people suffering from dementia and without any family member to take care of is needy for the help of social worker (alz.org, 2018).

Explain the role of ethical theories in ethical decision making in social work 

The different ethical theories like deontological or utilitarian theory, social work theory, and social care theory to generalize the role of social workers to solve a social issue. The responsibilities of the social workers are as follows. 

Ethical Responsibilities: The deontological theory has shown that the respect for human dignity. It is helpful to build up a bond between the social care provider and the user. As stated by Thiel et al. (2014), the respect of client's thought, his/her religious beliefs, taboos, or critical values can help the worker to gain the client's trust. I think this would be helpful to build up an effective communication between the two. Along with that, it can be beneficial to modify the baseless taboos or beliefs of the client. I also believe that this bond of trust can be beneficial the service user. The elderly people are the susceptible group of people who need more care to lead a normal life. According to Hudson et al. (2012), dementia is a major mental health issue suffered by a large number of old people and needs a regular care of the caretakers. The social workers can play a very important role by listening to the clients and helping them to participate in the social issues in order to help them for leading an easy life. According to my point of view, the social workers can be an important part of the society by making an effective decision through the respect of the human dignity.

Formation of safe and sensitive cultural practices: The social workers are supposed to respect the cultural values of the client in order to understand their thought. This is one of the ethical principles which is expected to be followed by the social worker. The above-mentioned theory supports this concept. As stated by Markham & Buchanan (2015), the old age people are difficult to handle as they behave like a child in that age. In such a condition loss of memory can be proven a huge problem for the caretaker. So the effective way to deal with such cases by understanding the person's racial or cultural values, finding out the impact of their cultural and ethnicity issues and their social behaviours on a social event. Thus I feel the collective analysis of all these factors can help the social workers to make an effective ethical decision to support the affected person.

To follow the social justice for the susceptible groups: The theory of social care, the virtue of care and so on ensures the role of social workers to follow the social justice and allows the service users to demand their right from the social workers. According to Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts (2013), depending on these supportive theories the social workers are allowed to make planning and policies for the susceptible group of people who need the help of social worker as their human right. I think this initiative by the social workers is really appreciable because it will allow the clients to demand their right especially for them who are deprived and backward. The old age people may get neglected by the family members in those susceptible periods which can deteriorate his/her health condition. Thus by following these policies, they can claim attention and care either from the family members or from the social caregivers. But according to my analysis, there are many countries where they do not have such kind of support to the old people which results in a miserable life leading among the elderly. So I feel the globalization of this ethical practice can help several old people through the globe. This also helps to establish the effective participation of the social workers to support the needy clients. 

Evidence from a literature review and make an argument to meet up all the essay questions

The ability of decision making by following the ethics depends on the individual social worker. There are different theories to support the role of ethical practices for making an effective ethical decision by the social worker (save.btsa.co, 2018). There is an argument on which theory of ethics is more effective to make the ethical decision. There is a deontological or utilitarian theory which supports the concepts of virtue theory, right theory and the duty of workers. In the other side, there are theories of social care, social work and so on to support the duty of care, making an effective decision for the affected person by the workers and so on. As stated by Healy (2014), the previous two theories ensure the role of an individual social worker to solve a social issue by making a practical decision which is ethically correct. Thus it supports the effectiveness of the worker's duty by forming a bond of trust with the client 

The contents of other theories are providing a right to the care, right to be heard by the affected person according to the need from the social workers. This makes the social worker bound to perform their job according to client’s demand. Hence the emotional involvement and the assurance of a certain care is less as the duty is not self-motivated.  In such case, the client may face inconvenience by the support of the worker. Through the analysis, I have found that in some countries there is a group of social workers association who made their own principles and values based on their ethics by combining different types of theories. According to me the best way to make an effective ethical decision in the context of ethical practices would be done by considering all the theories for analysis. As stated by Cote & Nightingale (2012), the proper evaluation of the theories can help to make a standard principle followed by all the social workers in order help the susceptible age group of person and the social issues. Apart from that I also feel that all the ethical theory supports the same goal of maintaining the human right and Worthing of their dignity in order to make an effective decision. Thus a combination of different concepts based on the condition can make the role of social workers ethically more appropriate.


There are several ethical theories which support the different ethical practices to make an effective decision by the workers to provide care and support to the group of people who need their help. In this essay, a critical analysis has been done on different ethical theories of social work. The analysis helps me to figure out the role of those theories to perform an effective decision making. I also find out the influence of ethical theories on the social work practice to provide the support and care to the service users. The study would be concluded with an argument to determine an effective theory. This argument helps me to conclude that a combination of all the method can show a beneficial effect on the ethical decision making by the social workers.   

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