In honor of National Professional Social Work Month, Bethesda would like to recognize social workers and their dedication and willingness to help in any way they can.
Social workers fill a number of different roles when it comes to assisting Bethesda’s senior residents and their families. Our caring and compassionate social workers focus on three major areas, including Care Management, Hospice Care, and Long-Term Care or Short-Stay Rehab.
Providing Outstanding Care Management
Bethesda’s Care Management program serves as the neutral ‘third party’ that helps seniors and their families navigate the path of aging successfully. In many families, an aging loved one often results in a changing dynamic, which can be a bit uncomfortable. Mom and Dad used to be in charge and took care of everything. Now the children are caring for the parents. The Care Management team can help the family understand their redefined roles.
These transitions can be hard for any family. Bethesda social workers strive to make this process of transition easier for everyone involved. Our compassionate social workers are well-trained in care management. They spend time getting to know each family and evaluating the senior’s needs for the best level of care for each unique resident.
Helping Loved Ones Through Hospice Care
Laurel Willis, MSG, is a social worker with Bethesda Hospice Care. Laurel said she feels privileged to be able to help families in a time of great need.
“I was hired in 2008 as a hospice social worker, and I truly have loved my job ever since,” Laurel said. “I tell families that we help babies come in this world, and we should help people leave this world, too.”
Hospice care can be confusing and scary for many seniors and their families. Bethesda’s team of caring social workers alleviate the hardship with knowledge and experience. Our team focuses on maintaining and improving the quality of life for our residents, allowing you and your family to focus on what’s important – spending time together!
Our hospice social workers, including Laurel, have a wide range of responsibilities, including:
- conducting comprehensive psychosocial assessments of patients and their family
- collaborating with the interdisciplinary team responsible for implementing a plan of care
- providing education about hospice services
- assisting with health care power of attorney documents and final arrangements
- assisting the patient and family with community resources
- providing emotional support to patient and families
- providing direct social services to patients and families experiencing end-of-life issues.
“I have a special place in my heart for the senior population,” Laurel said. “Seniors have led such interesting lives, and I love to obtain their life stories and hear their experiences. Many seniors feel they are not heard or needed in society any longer, and I try to make them feel loved, needed and valuable.”
Personalizing Long-Term and Short-Term Care Options
Amanda Hoffmeister, MSW, the Coordinator of Social Services at Bethesda Southgate, works with seniors who are trying to get healthy after an injury or surgery and those who require nursing care on a long-term basis.
“I meet with rehab and therapy residents and their families to provide education, resources and discharge planning,” said Amanda. “I also provide information that helps people understand the options they have for the future.”
After an accident or a fall, many seniors and their families are unsure of the level of care that is needed. Bethesda’s team of experienced social workers can help families sort through their options and recommend the right service – whether that is long- or short-term care.
“I believe that education is the most rewarding part of my job,” Amanda continues. “Understanding what you are facing in life and the available support, resources, and options helps people cope with their challenges. Aging is one of the hardest things people do, and I feel proud that I can help prepare others for this journey with confidence.”
One of the most important things Amanda said she and her co-workers try to do for seniors and their families is to add structure and stability to their lives. “Structure helps seniors be successfully independent for as long as possible,” Amanda said. “Having a comfortable routine often allows seniors to use their strengths more effectively.”
Regardless of if they work in care management, hospice, long-term care or rehab, Bethesda social workers say they’re passionate about making a difference in the lives of seniors every day.
Social workers at Bethesda make a real difference in the lives of seniors across the St. Louis area. By giving support, resources, and comfort to our residents and their families, Bethesda’s social workers provide an outstanding level of service. This National Professional Social Work Month, we at Bethesda thank all of our social workers for their hard work.
Could your senior loved one benefit from the services the social work programs that Bethesda offers? Contact Bethesda for more information.