What is the role of Social Services in hospice?
While people can easily understand the need for medical and grief support for the family and loved one in hospice care, it may not be obvious the crucial role that Social Services play. As with everything in life, there are logistics planning that has to be taken into consideration. There are also emotional and personal burdens to face that no one could have foreseen. And while hospice care is usually paid for by Medicare, the VA or major insurers see who pays for hospice here, there are often unexpected resources that a patient and family may need at the end of life.
ProCare Hospice is family-owned and operated. That means we celebrate families of all kinds. We know how important family is, especially during this critical time. We strive to provide the kind of support can care only a family can give, with the resources and professionalism earned from years of experience
Our Social Services team is a key part of how our family helps yours.
What do social workers do in hospice?
Our team consists of Licensed Clinical Social Workers and other certified and licensed professionals who understand the psychological, emotional, medical, social, and familial challenges people may face during the end-of-life experience.
No matter how close a family may be, the burdens of caring for a loved one at the end of life can be overwhelming. Simple things like running to the grocery store can become stressful nightmares when there is no one around to care for a bedridden loved one. Questions about a patient’s desires for care at the end of life, including such critical decisions about such things as a Do Not Resuscitate order, may not have been made in advance, causing strife among family members.
While hospice care may be covered, the loss of income when someone has to become a full-time caregiver to a loved one is not. Higher utility bills due to medical equipment use can overtax a family’s budget. Concern and confusion about funeral planning can cause stress. For families dealing with a child in pediatric hospice, other unique problems arise.
All of these things can steal time away from the loved one and their family, when the focus should be on comfort and enjoying their remaining time with each other. This is where the Social Services team steps in.
Our team of social workers are unique in that they are cross-trained to work with pediatric and adult patients. Their primary role is to offer emotional support, connect with community resources, and assist with end-of-life planning. Social Workers are equipped to assist families with the following and more:
- Advance Directives
- Funeral Planning
- Long Term Care Planning
- Caregiver Resources
- Facilitate Care Meetings
What about grief support and bereavement?
To learn more about the grief support and bereavement services we provide, click here.
Does everyone in hospice need social services?
We believe no one should have to walk this painful journey alone. Our Social Services Team meets with the patient and family to determine what their needs are and how we can help. We are happy to assist however we can, at whatever level.
We remain in close contact with the hospice care team at all times. Sometimes, a nurse or chaplain may discover the situation has changed for a patient or family and relay that to the Social Services team. No matter what level of involvement the patient or family needs, we are always there to respond.
If you have questions, feel free to call us at 702-380-8300.