Direct health care providers are often recognized for their crucial role in the health and well-being of those young and old. Doctors, nurses and their support staff go a long way to providing important, lifesaving care. But one group often goes unrecognized for their impactful role in this care: social workers.
At UnityPoint at Home, we understand that the treatment of an individual goes beyond that of the physical body. Through hands-on, coordinated care, our social services team members help to meet the needs of patients going through emotional stress, financial difficulties, and social challenges.
In celebration of Social Work Month, UnityPoint at Home wanted to take the time to thank and highlight the many ways social workers impact lives. We would like to extend a sincere “Thank You” to these professionals who provide a variety of services at UnityPoint at Home. From home health to hospice, our team of social workers play a significant role in the care and treatment of our patients and their families. Here are just a few of the types of patients who benefit directly from the important work our social services team does.
Chronically Ill Patients
Both individuals and families going through the challenges associated with a chronic disease can benefit greatly with the help of a social worker. Lifestyle and environmental changes are often necessary after being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Social workers can help patients find the necessary resources to learn more about their illness, cope with their diagnosis and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Social workers can also assist with finding financial and government assistance programs to help afford necessary prescription drugs and equipment.
Due to hardships associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart failure and arthritis, conditions like depression, anxiety and multiple forms of addiction can surface. In addition to helping patients find educational and financial resources to handle their health issues, it is also common for social workers to help patients find support groups and additional resources to help cope with psychological health problems.
Hospice Patients and their Families
The role of a social worker during end of life care is to work to provide emotional and general support to the patient, caregiver, and the entire family. Social workers can help connect your family to the appropriate community resources and government assistance programs available. For example, social workers can help families find support groups and learn about what type of coverage is provided through their insurance. A social worker will also assist in establishing end-of-life goals if a family has not previously discussed their options.
Pediatrics Patients and their Families
When a child is diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability, knowing where to turn can be overwhelming. Our team of social workers can help create an environment that goes beyond medical support. As you learn to care for your child, social workers are available to help families and caregivers learn more about the illness or disability. In addition, they can assist with finding additional therapies and getting families connected with support groups and financial resources.
Veterans are another group that can benefit directly from social workers. Most veterans are entitled to health benefits that he/she may not be aware of. Social workers can help with the entire process - from the benefits application to an initial evaluation, all the way through follow-up steps.
Due to traumatic experiences, it is not uncommon for veterans to suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues. In addition to educating veterans on their individual benefits, social workers are available to help veterans and their families navigate these health problems and find the necessary resources to begin living a healthier life.
Social Services from UnityPoint at Home
Working closely with patients and their physicians, our social workers provide critical care to help ensure each unique need of every patient is covered. Our social services team is committed to providing emotional, financial and supportive care at each step of your medical journey. Contact our Medical Social Services team today for additional information regarding services provided.