People are so inspiring in the ways that they choose to deal with unimaginable pain and grief. Perhaps this is no more evident than when a hospice social worker meets with a family as their loved one enters hospice care. While there is something very freeing about the hospice care experience, it is also an indication that the end of life is near and treatments that they’d perhaps long held onto hope about are no longer effective. As families begin to come to terms with this, they turn to the professionals in their hospice care team for support.
Entering Hospice Care
Once the hospice team enters the picture, it is often because the patient understands the value of having a patient-centered care experience. With this type of personalized support, it’s easier to tie up loose ends, feel peaceful and free from pain, laugh a little more and focus on the thing that still matters most – spending time with people you love.
Hospice Social Workers
The hospice team includes many important professionals like a doctor, nurses, therapists, chaplains and volunteers. Families also typically work with a hospice social worker throughout this journey. This person is the individual who brings the pieces together, coordinating the care experience and remaining available to help patients and their family members with a variety of practical and emotional issues. From filling out paperwork to address advanced directives to making final funeral arrangements and simply providing a listening ear or important education, social workers do so much to help patients find peace and their path forward.
Key Services Hospice Social Workers Provide
- Patient advocacy to ensure your needs and wishes are heard and adequately met
- Information about advanced directives, estate planning and funeral arrangements
- Counseling services for the patient to help them cope with end of life struggles, questions and concerns
- Support in accessing important community resources including support groups, financial counseling services, emotional counseling services and other community programs
- Assistance accessing respite care or home care to subsidize hospice care services
- Bereavement counseling and emotional support for the family
Level of Involvement
Patients and family members have a lot of leverage in determining how involved every professional on the hospice care team is including their hospice social worker. Salus Hospice of Orange County’s primary goal is to ensure you remain comfortable and have the information you need to reach any personal goals in order to feel content and confident throughout your hospice journey. Finding this inner-peace on your own can no doubt feel overwhelming, which is why so many patients find the services and skills of our professional social workers to be indispensable.
As with your entire care team at Salus, you and your hospice social worker should feel connected and compatible. He or she will communicate honestly with you and be open, respectful and compassionate. With their help, it is our hope you’ll feel empowered to enjoy a better quality of life and every day ahead. This is why the role of these professionals on our team is so important.