March is designated as “National Social Work Month.” At Unicity Healthcare, would like to take the opportunity this month to recognize the many licensed social workers who serve our clients.
Social workers are unsung heroes of senior care. They connect older adults with community resources that help them to safely maintain their best quality of life. These dedicated, compassionate individuals care for an aging generation whose members don’t often get the personal attention they deserve. Thus, during the month of March we would like to pause and acknowledge the work of this dedicated group of professionals.
Social Work Month 2019: Elevate Social Work
According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Social Work Month is an opportunity for social workers around the nation and world and their supporters to educate the public about the invaluable contributions of the profession.
During Social Work Month 2019, NASW has launched the “Elevate Social Work” campaign — which aims to educate the public about the contributions social workers have made to our society and why the profession is so vital to our nation. NASW also wants to use the campaign to begin a conversation to help social workers get better compensation for the work they do.
Every day, the nation’s 680,000 social workers work to empower and elevate millions of people, including some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Geriatric Social Workers
While the term “social worker” can apply to professionals working in a variety of settings — such as schools and government agencies — geriatric social workers specifically deal with ensuring someone’s senior care works in the best way possible. Geriatric social workers are in demand, thanks to the increase in the over-65 population. That age group is expected to grow to more than 98 million by 2060. Meanwhile, the population of people 85 or older is projected to almost double to 21.1 million in 2030 from 10.6 million in 2015.
Because there are so many components that need to be sorted out at every stage of senior living, social workers have to juggle a number of different tasks. A geriatric social worker sorts out all of the details of a patient’s care, taking into account the physical, mental and even logistical factors that play a role in deciding the nature of a person’s immediate and future needs.
Social workers also coordinate all the various people actively involved in a senior loved one’s care, and act as mediators among seniors, their families and health care professionals. They keep everyone on the same page, fostering clear and consistent communication, and establish a plan that will work for each individual’s care.
Social Workers: Helping Seniors In Many Ways
The role of the social worker is to enable each individual to function at the highest possible level of social and emotional wellness. The range of responsibilities include: admission planning, transitioning residents from their previous living situation, advocacy, upholding residents’ rights, determining medical treatment wishes, assessment and care planning, complaint resolution, crisis management, discharge planning, coping with disease and disability, and end of life support.
Social workers provide invaluable services to our seniors. It would be impossible to list all the ways in which our social workers help residents, but here are just a few of the countless instances where the role of social worker is so important to our community:
When a resident suffers a loss (such as losing a loved one or a lifelong friend) a social worker is there to encourage grieving, all while encouraging staying connected with life.
If a resident is suffering from isolation or depression, a social worker makes sure he or she receives the appropriate care and access to resources.
When it becomes necessary for a resident to transition to a different level of care, a social worker ensures that the move goes smoothly; offering support and comfort to both the resident and their family and loved ones.
When a resident has a serious medical event or passes away, a social worker provides compassionate counseling for the resident’s loved ones and friends in the community.
Within the entire community in which a social workers serves, their role is an invaluable source of knowledge and experience.
Giving Thanks To Our Dedicated Social Workers
We are truly grateful for our wonderful social workers, and we want them to know how much we support them and value their contributions. We recognize the important work of our own social workers, as well as those nationwide, to increase the quality of life for seniors everywhere. Thus we are honored to take the time to express our gratitude for all that our social workers do!
Unicity Healthcare says “thank you” to our Social Workers; we celebrate the caring, compassion and hard work that each of them display towards residents, clients and family members. Their guidance, advocacy, and dedication help make each day better for those in need.