How A Geriatric Social Worker Can Help You
It can be a challenge to navigate aging or caring for your older loved one alone. You most likely have questions about care options, community support programs, coping with the stress of caregiving, and more. The good news is that there are resources out there and a Geriatric Social Worker can help you find them. Read on to find out more about Geriatric Social Workers and how one of them could help you.
What Is a Geriatric Social Worker?
The role of a Social Worker is to help vulnerable individuals, families, and groups of people cope with problems and strive to improve patients’ lives through direct counseling, liaising between institutions and community resources, and maintaining case records and reports. Geriatric Social Workers specialize in helping adults aged 65 and older live safe and independent lives. Their overall goal is to protect, and advocate for, seniors.
What Does a Geriatric Social Worker Do?
A Geriatric Social Worker helps seniors and their families in multiple ways, including with understanding and resolving issues in the delivery of complicated government assistance programs such as social services (meals, transportation, and in-home assistance), community programs, health care providers, and legal issues. A Geriatric Social Worker can also help you apply for funding, both private and public, when applicable. End-of-life issues are another item a Geriatric Social Worker can help you with, as well as having care plan conversations with your loved ones.
In short, a Geriatric Social Worker is a tremendous resource for older adults and their caregivers. She will seek to understand you and your family, including your background, family dynamics, plans that have already been made, and what the realistic next steps are.
Questions to Ask
If you have age-related or elder caregiving questions, don’t be afraid to ask a Geriatric Social Worker! She has most likely heard your question before and will have an answer ready.
Some of the most common questions Geriatric Social Workers are asked include:
- What will happen to my older loved one if his/her needs become too great for me to manage? What options are there?
- Does my loved one qualify for community support programs?
- My family lives out of state and cannot continue to travel at a moment’s notice when I have a medical crisis. What options do we have?
- How can I help my aging loved ones prepare for the possibility of illness, hospitalization, and death?
- I don’t know how to have hard conversations, but I know it is important. How do I do this?
- I am at my breaking point, being spread too thin. How can I cope better with the stress of being a caregiver?
How Can I Get in Touch with a Geriatric Social Worker?
As a senior living community, Luther Manor has Geriatric Social Workers on staff to help our residents. Your primary care provider can help you get in touch with a Geriatric Social Worker through the hospital system or private agencies. Some community agencies and programs also offer the services of a Geriatric Social Worker.
Ask to be connected with a Geriatric Social Worker if you haven’t been referred to one. Be your own best advocate and seek to collaborate and partner with her, by being open and honest in your communication.