In March we celebrate National Social Workers Month, and it’s a great opportunity to honor these wonderful people for all the fantastic work they do with our beloved elders. Our home health professionals often participate in health care teams that include a geriatric social worker, and believe us, these folks make a real difference in the lives of the people they serve. Let’s take a look at some of the many roles social workers take on while serving our aging loved ones:
If there’s an elderly person in your life, you understand the mountains of red tape involved in obtaining healthcare and quality of life services. A savvy social worker knows what’s available and how to obtain the best services for your loved one. They deliver invaluable help to families, collecting information, coordinating programs, supporting family members and at times even offering direct counseling services.
Often a good geriatric social worker is able to assist family caregivers as well, providing them with resources for respite care and helping them to coordinate medical care. They are able to act as competent and sympathetic liasons between elderly clients and their professional caregivers, family caregivers and medical staff.
As your loved one grows older, staying in his or her home becomes more of a challenge — yet that’s where most of us would prefer to be! With the help of an observant and creative social worker, many elderly folks are able to remain in their homes instead of moving to nursing homes or assisted living centers.
Geriatric social workers are trained to find solutions to the physical and environmental challenges associated with aging. Their number one priority is to enhance the quality of life for the elders and families they serve. Because they’re so familiar with local resources, a good social worker can help you and your dear one find transportation services, food delivery services like Meals on Wheels, and help you keep tabs on your elder’s physical and mental health.
There’s no one more qualified to help you and your loved one get through those very difficult, yet necessary conversations. A compassionate social worker can guide you as you discuss end-of-life issues and help you find answers to your toughest questions. He or she will be able to help your elder through a final transition and provide bereavement counseling and assistance to your family when it is needed most.
There are more than half a million geriatric social workers in the United States, and they are doing the work of angels. Social workers improve the lives of our beloved seniors, providing support in every aspect of family life. These wonderful folks provide an invaluable service to seniors all over the U.S., and we’re incredibly proud and blessed to have them as colleagues. Thanks, social workers, for all you do!