Out of the many services for seniors, some are unaware of the role of social workers. Since March is Social Worker Recognition Month, we thought it would be a good time to introduce you to the role of senior social workers and what they can do to add to the quality of life for seniors.
What do senior social workers do?
There doesn’t necessarily need to be a problem to request help.
Senior social workers are professionals dedicated to improving the lives of those 65 and over. They act as a bridge of communication between clients, their families, and their care teams. They also coordinate the care of older patients in a variety of settings such as hospitals, community health clinics, long-term and residential health care facilities, hospice settings, and outpatient/daytime health care centers. Senior social workers also:
- Conduct intake assessments to determine patients’ mental, emotional and social needs
- Collaborate with physicians, nurses, psychologists, case managers and other health care staff to develop and regularly update patient treatment plans
- Discuss treatment plan options with patients and their families
- Are advocates, ensuring their clients receive mental, emotional, social and familial support
- Provide resources in their community that may provide additional support
- Find and enroll in a “meals on wheels” program to receive nutritious, home-delivered meals
- Locate a quality in-home care provider that can provide help with the activities of daily living
- Assist an older adult caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s in exploring nursing home options that will offer a safe, supportive environment
- Arrange for services such as lawn care and snow removal from trusted vendors who won’t take advantage of a senior
- Investigating claims of elder abuse and fraud whether it is by a family member or a senior scam of some type
- Working with a family to help an older adult living in an unsafe neighborhood find an affordable senior living solution
- Helping a senior connect with an attorney who can assist in drafting documents such as a power of attorney or a living will
A senior social worker is an advocate for the rights of our elders. They create deep and meaningful connections with clients and their families and have a positive impact on their senior community, which contributes to quality and longevity of life. Their services help aging seniors and their families feel less confused or anxious when embarking in areas new to them.
How to find senior social services
Check out the below links to look up services by state: