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Medical Social Services

When a life threatening illness strikes a family, even everyday issues can seem overwhelming. The Heart 'n Home Medical Social Services Team consists of Social Workers and Bereavement Counselors that provide ongoing support to help patients and families cope with the impact of illness and are available to provide counseling and education.  Social Workers have in-depth knowledge and expertise in working with ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity; family and support networks; bereavement; interdisciplinary team practices; interventions across the life cycle; and navigating healthcare systems.

Below are some common reasons a patient/family member might call a hospice Social Worker or Bereavement Counselor.  This list is not all encompassing, so we encourage communication about the patient’s psychosocial and emotional needs to any member of the Heart ‘n Home team with the assurance that they will be directed to the appropriate expert to assist with those needs.  

Medical Social Services Heart n Home

Heart ‘n Home Social Workers can assist with:

  • Help in accomplishing unfinished emotional issues
  • Assistance with Advance Directives, Power of Attorney, financial direction, or other legal matters
  • For additional information about the services provided by Heart ‘n Home
  • Questions about how hospice services are paid for
  • To discuss thoughts, concerns, and/or end-of-life choices with family and friends through Heart to Heart Conversations
  • Information needed regarding end-of-life decision making
  • Questions about grief and/or loss
  • Access and identification of resources that you or your loved one may benefit from such as Medicaid or Meals on Wheels
  • Assistance in examining priorities and values, and sharing them with those you love
  • Assistance in communicating with loved ones and resolving old disagreements or concerns
  • Updating emergency contact information
  • Assisting patients and families in making healthcare decisions based on personal goals of care
  • Ensuring the patient’s end-of-life wishes are documented and known by assisting with Advance Directives, do not resuscitate (DNR) orders, or POLST forms
  • Contacting local agencies and/or community resources that may be of help to patients and families (e.g., Meals on Wheels, Life Alert, Home Health, etc.)
  • Assistance with funeral planning
  • Identifying emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their loved ones and finding appropriate support as needed
  • Assistance with bridging family gaps to bring loved ones together whenever possible
  • Assisting survivors with necessary arrangements and paperwork after death occurs
  • Identifying other needs of the patient and their support circle and assisting as needed

One of the major components of support Hospice Social Workers and Bereavement Counselors 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 Counselors can assist with:

  • You or any member of your family struggling with grief issues
  • Your children or grandchildren 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
  • Dealing with grief because of the changes that are occurring around you
  • If what you are feeling is “normal”
  • Grief due to lost opportunities of doing things with family or loved ones