Four Ways a Social Worker Can Help You Navigate Senior Care

The transition to senior care can feel overwhelming for both patients and their families, and that’s why our NHC social workers are committed to helping you navigate every step of the process.

Your social worker can serve as an information provider, an advocate, and a shoulder to cry on. They’re often the first person you see when you start the admissions process and the last person you talk to when your loved one is discharged.

Whether you’re exploring your options for your family member’s next steps, or they’re currently living in one of our facilities, here are four key ways a social worker can help make sure both you and your loved one are getting the support you need.

1. Social Workers Guide You Through Admission

From the moment your family member arrives at one of our facilities, they’ll be supported by a multi-disciplinary team that includes nurses, therapists, and dietitians. Your social worker will help assess the patients’ needs and collaborate with the rest of that team to develop an individualized care plan.

The social worker also takes time to sit with the family and answer any questions they may have about their family member’s care, and also provide information about topics like Medicaid, financial planning, and any legal questions.

Our social workers are extremely knowledgeable and well-connected, so if they can’t answer a question themselves, they can put you in touch with the person or resource you need.

2. Social Workers Advocate for Patient Rights

A patient does not give up any of their rights when they’re admitted to a skilled nursing or long-term care facility, and it’s a social worker’s job to make sure each of those rights is protected.

Upon admission to a facility, the social worker takes time to inform patients and families of their rights. They also serve as a liaison between families and the center if there are any questions or concerns.

3. Social Workers Help Families Navigate Difficult Emotions

Whether you’re beginning the admission process, deciding to transition your loved one to a long-term care facility, or starting end-of-life planning, we understand that caring for an aging family member can feel challenging and emotional.

Your social worker is not just there to serve your family member, they’re also ready and willing to help you process any feelings of grief, guilt, confusion, or anger that may arise during and after your loved one’s stay.

Whether you need advice about next steps or just want someone to sit with you as you process these big life changes, your social worker can provide support and care.

4. Social Workers Prepare Patients and Families for Discharge

When it’s time for your family member to discharge from a skilled nursing facility, your social worker can help you create a plan that ensures their needs will still be met after they leave. They collaborate with the family and with the rest of the multidisciplinary team to create an individualized discharge plan, which can include things like home care, transition to an assisted living facility, or acquiring the right equipment to make sure your family member is safe at home.

Wherever your loved one is headed next, our social workers are committed to making sure they continue to receive the care and support they need.

To hear more from one of our social workers, we encourage you to listen to this episode of our Day By Day podcast featuring Lesley Shelton.

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