Monday, July 21, 2008

Role of Hospice Social Workers

Social workers play an important role in hospice care. They are just one part that make up the interdisciplinary team, which usually consists of doctors, nurses, and clergy. Social workers assist clients in finding resources for individuals.

During hospice care, social workers may help families alleviate stress with things such as with medical bills or finding respite care. If requested by the family, hospice social workers can also provide information on funeral planning.

Social workers can also provide counseling to the patient and their families with their emotions or other pending issues that may arise. In some cases, family conflicts can occur regarding a patient's care. In those instances, the social worker can provide a neutral point of view, who can listen and help the family sort out their problems.

When hospice services are no longer needed, grief and bereavement services are offered to the family for generally 13 months. Support groups are often lead by social workers as well.

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