Our Social Workers are specially trained in end-of-life care issues. They help our patients and families in a multitude of ways, including counseling, education, help with accessing community resources and grief support. In addition, they assist those in need of alternate residential settings, individuals experiencing financial crises, as well as those who require referrals to outside social service agencies. During the Social Worker’s visit, he or she will assess the needs of the patient and family and focus on maximizing their quality of life. As part of the interdisciplinary team, the Social Worker collaborates with all involved in the patient’s care with clarification of hospice goals. In short, the Social Worker helps patients and families determine how hospice can best serve them.

Some of the issues our Hospice Social Worker might assist with include:

• Education on hospice philosophy and the dying process

• The need for a caregiver and/or respite service

• Processing emotions surrounding news of a terminal diagnosis

• Support for an overwhelmed caretaker

• Anticipatory grief for those experiencing the loss of a loved one

• Conflict resolution amongst the patient’s support system

• Assistance with advanced directives such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOA-HC) or Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)