Why Are Geriatric Social Workers Important?

By Keith Davis, 9:00 am on April 24, 2017

There is a common misconception that social workers only manage children in difficult family situations. However, they can also help seniors. Geriatric social workers provide valuable assistance to seniors who are navigating the complexities of aging.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Green Valley families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Here are a few reasons why geriatric social workers are important.

Help Seniors Manage Government Programs

Many seniors do not realize they are eligible for certain government programs that provide financial assistance, food delivery, transportation, and home care services. Geriatric social workers are aware of the government plans available to seniors, and they can help your loved one apply for and benefit from these programs.

Offer Counseling Services for Seniors

Many social workers are also licensed counselors, and they can provide emotional care for seniors facing challenging circumstances. They can offer advice and help the elderly write wills or manage medical care. Even if your loved one is physically capable and mentally sound, hiring a geriatric social worker can offer him or her additional emotional support.

Advocate for Seniors

Social workers can advocate for vulnerable elderly people. Seniors are likely to fall prey to scams, and they often feel too ashamed to report it to the authorities. Having a social worker who regularly speaks to the senior can help prevent cases of financial fraud. In cases of elder abuse, a social worker is more likely to notice the signs of abuse. The social worker has the authority to step in and find ways to stop abuse before it worsens.

Help Seniors Connect with Family Members

Family members of seniors often have the best intentions, but they may find it difficult to communicate with their elderly loved ones. Some seniors prefer not to talk about their issues because they do not want to worry family members. Social workers can facilitate communication between seniors and their family members. They can guide potentially tense conversations about things such as hiring a live-in caregiver, which allows family members to feel like their needs are met and their opinions are heard.

If you are the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Green Valley, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Assist Families in Tough Decisions

Having an outside perspective is valuable when seniors are facing difficult choices such as picking a treatment for a chronic health condition. Social workers tend to have a great deal of experience in managing these types of situations. They can talk through the different options and help the senior decide what is best for his or her unique issue.

Aging adults are susceptible to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of cognitive health conditions. If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a geriatric social worker can encourage him or her to hire a professional Alzheimer’s caregiver. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of senior home care in Green Valley. Alzheimer’s care is one of our main specialties. Our caregivers can help seniors with Alzheimer’s manage their condition while performing daily tasks like exercise, bathing, and cooking, and we also provide a wide array of mentally stimulating activities. To create a customized Alzheimer’s care plan for your aging loved one, call us at 520-625-2050.

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