In the world of home health care and caring for elderly relatives, there are many different professionals you may encounter. Today we want to talk about an integral member of case management teams: social workers!
Social workers are usually part of primary care, rehabilitation, and long-term care facility teams, and often also work for community programs. They provide counseling for patients and families around end-of-life issues, substance abuse, community resources, and elder abuse. In the emergency room, they meet with families who have suffered sudden loss, acute severe illness, homelessness.
They can help you answer questions about how to care for your aging family member, what options you may have for community support programs, and how to help your loved one prepare for the possibility of prolonged illness, hospitalizations, and end-of-life care.
Social Workers provide a holistic, person-centered approach while also taking into account the social aspects of health such as home environment, work, age, religious preference, financial situation, support systems. This approach allows for an optimal case management plan that addresses the whole person.
How Should I Work With Social Workers?
We love this explanation by Cassandra Spies, LICSW:
“A helpful way to approach working with a social worker is to view it as a collaborative partnership. The older adult and family are the experts on their own lives, challenges, and preferences, while the social worker has the expertise to address needs associated with age-related concerns, stress, and improvement in the quality of life. While I know it can be difficult, open and honest communication will enable a social worker to facilitate better outcomes for everyone involved.”
A social worker’s role is to provide support for you and your family. They are an advocate and have the knowledge and experience to recommend care plans that account for both your family member’s health care needs, but also their values and preferences for their care.
Abundant Home Health Care works closely with many social workers, and we believe that our guiding philosophy of COMPASSION + EMPATHY = TRUST is embodied within the professional, talented social workers we collaborate with. As always, if you or your loved one is in need of in-home care, please do not hesitate to reach out.