Meet my niece Jen, who graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BS in Social Work 15 years ago! She knew she wanted to help people, but she didn’t want to deal with blood or shots (the same way I felt)! She chose the field of Social Work because it allowed her to use her gifts of empathy and compassion to help people.
What my job as a Geriatric Social Worker is like:
Jen has worked with the senior population for her entire career. She currently works for Kindred Hospice. Her day consists of much “education and information”, sometimes talking with 50 people in a day! She stays busy educating physicians, other social workers, families, and seniors as to the specifics of how hospice may help their patients or family members.
PROs and CONs of my Social Work position:
PROs: I love knowing I helped someone, and was able to make their situation better. I truly feel like I get to make a difference in peoples lives. I meet people who are overwhelmed and struggling, and I am able to help point them in the right direction, and find resources to make their journey a little bit easier. I love that as a social worker, I can be a caring, soft place for elderly people and their families to land and find help.
CONs- I take a lot of it with me. When you work with patients with dementia and their families, and patients on hospice and their families, you’re usually meeting them in the hardest parts of their lives, and it’s a skill you have to get better at: leaving the hard stuff at work.
Tips for connecting to a Social Worker:
Families can contact their local elder affairs, a home health company, a hospice company, or their physician’s office to connect with a local social worker. If you need guidance, it is worth the effort. Social Workers can provide great insight and information that can help you or your family find helpful options during a difficult time.
This Social Worker’s incredible gift:
This part is tough emotionally, because it has been about 2 years since my parents have passed. But I wanted to take the time to honor my amazing niece. Part of the reason I am passionate about helping seniors stay safe in their homes, is that we as a family cared for our parents through the struggle of Alzheimers. As it became less safe and more difficult to keep my mom at home, we had to make the difficult decision to find assisted living arrangements. We were incredibly blessed to have Jen’s professional guidance, topped with personal deep love and commitment to find the best solutions. Then there’s more! Jen ended up taking a position in the facility we chose, and was able to provide daily love and support during the toughest time for both of my parents, and for us as a family. A most incredible gift. We are all forever grateful.
Jen and her Gram (Marguerite)
and Gram and Jen’s daughter (also Marguerite 🙂 )
Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.