Seniors living at home alone may benefit from a Social Work Evaluation
If you are one of the 12 million seniors in America who live alone, how would you know if you needed a Social Worker Evaluation (American Psychological Association, 2016)?
With an increased life expectancy and an aging population, there are a greater number of seniors living at home than ever before. However, when a senior chooses to age in place, or remain at home, frequently difficulties in care may arise (Griswold Home Care). When you begin to struggle with accessing the care and supplies you need (financially, physically, mentally) to stay healthy, you may want to consider asking your health care team for some guidance and a referral to a Social Worker.
Although there are many services available to seniors, frequently they are difficult to access (Aging.com). The process may be complicated. Likewise many older seniors may not have access to wifi or the computer savvy required to get help. A Geriatric Social Worker can assist seniors to discover their “gap in care” and what services are needed to help. Also, they can guide them to attain the services that are needed.
Each state has its own ‘Area Agency on Aging’, or an equivalent agency. Many different types of services exist in each state: transportation assistance, nutritional assistance, caregiver support and education, health insurance, legal issues, home care, and safety education, to name a few. A Geriatric Social Worker stays current with all the changing senior programs available. They play a vital role in senior’s staying healthy and safe, and accessing the most appropriate services for their needs.
Families providing care for their loved ones may benefit from a Social Work Evaluation
Many states not only offer services for seniors, but also different types of caregiver assistance (AgingCare.com). We are all familiar with the term “sandwich generation”. Many seniors I have worked with have children living with them, or live with their children’s families. But I have also worked with many young families helping and living with grandparents as well. Many of us have busy schedules and live distant from our families. We may be caregiving through the phone and computer. The time and financial burden can be overwhelming when you are trying to care for someone with multiple needs or chronic conditions. Social Workers can help bridge the gap with education, resources, and recommendations for families and caregivers as well.
Home Health Care can provide access to a Social Work Evaluation if needed.
If you or your family member has been in the hospital or had a recent office visit where the physician ordered home health care, you may be able to request a Social Work Evaluation as well. Often, when there is a change in health, a person who is already struggling to maintain good self care might benefit from the extra input of a Social Worker. The Social Worker may be able to provide information or recommendations to help access new medication, improve safety parameters, acquire new supplies or simplify access to nutrition. Most Home Care agencies have Social Workers available to evaluate and assist their clients.
Check out this resource directory for the Department of Health & Human Services for details on regional services.
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