Nurses are truly excellent at treating patients and helping them with all sorts of physical needs related to their particular health condition or conditions they’re dealing with, including palliative care.
But they can’t do it all, which is why home health care providers in Manchester and elsewhere appreciate the opportunity to team up with other skilled specialists who can offer additional health care and expertise to clients, such as various therapists.
A good example of this arrangement can be found with Above and Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice.
In addition to the services of a variety of skilled nurses with different levels of certification and training, clients in Eastern Idaho can also be offered assistance from massage therapists, who can help relax aching muscles and promote healing; occupational therapists, who can teach skills to help someone remain independent and look for home hazards; and physical therapists, who can help build or rebuild various skills and motions that may have been lost or diminished due to health conditions.
The home health care provider also offers the services of trained social workers, who get to know each client and see what needs they may have and where in the local community they can be met.
As a resource, social workers can offer expertise beyond medical care, including:
- Emotional support. Being at the point where you need home health care can be a scary experience to some, especially those who prefer being independent. While a nurse might focus on physical needs and vital areas, a social worker can help people feel better emotionally. This can involve a lot of listening and reassurance.
- Financial support. Even for those with good health plan coverage or who are financially stable, there are always going to be concerns about money. Those who don’t have a lot of financial resources have even more concerns about how to pay for various policies and procedures. But a social worker can help make sense of various costs, explain complicated billing information between a provider, an insurance company, and any other cost questions that may come up. They also may be able to share details about where to get help in the community or provide advocacy to someone seeking financial assistance, including ways to lower bills and create payment arrangements with health care providers.
- A social worker won’t be able to take the place of psychiatrist who may be able to prescribe medication but he or she can listen, ask questions and let a client get things off their chest, reflect on the past and make plans for the future.
- Bereavement information. Sometimes, on top of any physical pain, someone may be dealing with emotional pain from losing a loved one. This could lead to depression which in turn can affect their physical health. Social workers can provide info about different opportunities and options for grieving.
- Connections to other resources. By getting to know a client, a social worker can learn what areas might be missing in their life and if there are others in the community who can help provide some of these support services. Maybe there are volunteers, non-profits or charity organizations in your area who might want to get involved.
- Family support. Families can provide an important role in helping a client’s physical, mental and emotional well-being, from basic caregiving to meals to general social interaction. A social worker can point family members in the right direction if they need any other assistance or questions answered, everything from financial support to courses in first aid. Families also might be interested in respite care, where they are provided with the opportunity to have a few hours to themselves for errands or even something fun while a caregiver comes to watch them. This type of care is helpful to everyone.
- Planning ahead. In a hospice situation, a social worker can provide information to a client and his or her families about what’s ahead and what areas can be focused upon, such as arranging a funeral, along with any paperwork. This can include finalizing a will and any estate info as well as transferring any financial accounts to heirs or family members. This can also be a potentially scary and unknown time for someone who has never done this before but with the guidance of a social worker, it can be navigated well and provide everyone with peace of mind that these details have been taken care of sooner rather than later.
Overall, a social worker can be a useful asset to a home health team. A client will be able to get quality care from skilled nurses and therapists but at the same time they will receive additional services to help them in other useful ways.
A social worker can provide information about area services that can benefit the client as well as improve communication between all parties involved in providing care for someone.
For those who are interested in the profession, March is Social Work Month, an opportunity to learn more and get to know the skills required and possible rewards that can be found along this career path.