Medical Social Services | Hospice Social Worker | Coping with Loss

Medical Social Services

When a life threatening illness strikes a family, even everyday issues can seem overwhelming. Our Medical Social Services Team includes Care Navigators and Bereavement Services that provide ongoing support for patients and families cope with the impact of illness through counseling and education.  Care Navigators have in-depth knowledge and expertise in working with ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity; family and support networks; bereavement; care team practices; interventions across the life cycle; and navigating complex healthcare systems.
Below are some common reasons a patient or family member might call a Care Navigator or Bereavement Counselor.  This list is not all encompassing, so we encourage communication about the patient’s psycho-social and emotional needs to any member of the Heart ‘n Home team.

Heart ‘n Home Care Navigators can assist with:

  • Advance directives, Power of Attorney, financial direction, Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR), POLST, or other legal matters to support end-of-life wishes
  • Questions about how hospice services are paid
  • Discussing thoughts, concerns, and/or end-of-life choices with family and friends through Heart to Heart Conversations
  • Questions about grief and loss
  • Communicating with loved ones and resolving old disagreements or concerns
  • Accomplishing unfinished emotional issues
  • Updating emergency contact information
  • Contacting local agencies and community resources that may be of help to patients and families (e.g., Meals on Wheels, Life Alert, Home Health, etc.)
  • Funeral planning
  • Identifying and finding appropriate support for emotional and spiritual needs
  • Bridging family gaps to bring loved ones together whenever possible
  • Helping survivors with necessary arrangements and paperwork after death occurs

One of the major components of support Hospice Care Navigators provide are Bereavement Services. Grief and Loss Support is available to both patients and family members from the time of admission and for 13 months after the passing of a loved one.

Heart ‘n Home Bereavement Services can assist with:

  • Patients and/or a family member of any age struggling with grief issues
  • One-on-one grief counseling
  • Questions about the grieving process
  • Grieving the loss of a relationship or the loss of interaction
  • Grieving the loss of support of a loved one
  • Addressing grief due to changes occurring around you
  • If what a patient is feeling is “normal”
  • Grief due to lost opportunities of doing things with family or loved ones