Honoring Our Social Workers
If you were not aware, March is National Social Work Month. Unless you have direct contact with a social worker or are one yourself, you may not think about them much.
But you should. While the work is very rewarding and satisfying, social workers are often overwhelmed with workloads, are responsible for many lives, and face job burnout.
With the state of the world right now, many people are turning to social workers for advice and guidance. Social workers help people of all ages with all sorts of problems and challenges they face.
Social Workers and Seniors
We often associate social workers helping people who need help with kids and teenagers, but they are also a very valuable resource for our seniors. Social workers for seniors, also known as geriatric social workers, coordinate the care of older patients in a variety of ways.
They can help with hospital visits or care for those in long-term care, community health clinics, residential health care facilities, hospice settings, and outpatient/daytime health care centers.
They may also help their clients manage psychological, emotional, and social challenges by providing or arranging counseling or therapy. They are often responsible for advising their clients’ families about how to best support aging loved ones.
Communication Between You And The Care Team
Social workers for seniors very often provide communication between clients and the rest of the care team, whatever that may be. They have the information and the tools for making sure people receive the services they need.
These might be recommendations for specialists, in-home care, day treatment programs, and knowing when your elderly loved one needs full-time care and if they need to move to a more secure and safe environment.
If you are caring for an elderly parent or loved one, chances are you have been in contact with a social worker. If you have an elderly person with dementia, then you need their input.
They can put you in contact with the resources you need most to make sure you and your elderly loved one get the treatment and care needed. When these things happen, it can be hard to know where to turn.
The care and concerns around aging adults are important and it is increasing as life expectancy increases, as well. If you have an elderly loved one living on their own, it is a great idea to consult with a social worker.
They have all the knowledge of all the available aid and programs that your loved one can access if needed. Just because they seem to be functioning well, doesn’t mean they can’t use a little extra help.
Social Workers Guide Families During Difficult Times
Your senior social worker can help navigate the many confusing and ever-changing government programs and the documents they require. They also have a list of all programs that they qualify for, that they simply may not know about.
Social workers are also very up on the latest scam that is making its way through the communities of the most vulnerable. There seems to be no end to many of these scams, as one is stopped, another one crops up.
These scams often included a variety of Medicare scams, funeral scams, mortgage scams, telemarketing, pleas for help in any manner of areas, investment scams, prescription drug scams, and of course internet fraud.
Thank Your Social Worker
If you need a social worker, check with local agencies in your area or ask your regular healthcare provider for a recommendation. These agencies can provide a variety of services, including insurance counseling, transportation assistance, care management assessments, nutritional counseling, caregiver education, and tell you how to get a social worker.
It’s important to acknowledge what your social worker does for you all the time. It’s nice they get a month of recognition, but their contributions go all year.
Many agencies may have policies in place about their social workers receiving gifts, so make sure you check first. Cards, flowers, a nice note, take them out for coffee and say thank you every time you see them will let them know you care and appreciate what they do.
Remember, they likely have a full caseload, so you are not their only client. Be kind and let them know you are grateful.
Light Heart Memory Care homes are specially designed for 8 residents. That way if feels more like a family.
In honor of our founder Pat Mack, we are carrying on the tradition of caring for our residents in
"The Light Heart Way"
to schedule a tour of Light Heart Memory Care.