The Role and Importance of Social Workers in Home Health Care
The topic of home health care planning usually brings up conversations about skilled nurses, physical therapy, and other medical providers. There isn’t a lot mentioned about the role social workers play, but families need to understand why social work is critical for helping patients maintain optimal health.
March is National Social Work Month, so we’re highlighting a few details so patients and their loved ones can understand why social work services are so important.
Education Empowers Families
When social workers are part of the home health care plan, they provide education to the patient, caregivers, and family members about the person’s conditions. This helps everyone understand what is happening and empowers individuals to choose the ideal healthcare services for their unique needs.
When a social worker is spending time in a person’s home, they can observe a person’s routine and behaviors to see if there are any areas of improvement that need to be addressed. Then, an educational approach is offered to fill in the gaps.
Behavioral Health Needs
Behavioral health plays a role in the person’s physical health, and social workers help address these behavioral aspects. For example, if a person with upper respiratory issues often ends up in the hospital because anxiety attacks trigger breathing problems, a social worker can assist with preventive strategies. Relaxation and deep breathing can effectively reduce anxiety, which decreases the risk of the patient going to the hospital.
Social workers also watch for signs of mental health concerns, such as depression. These challenges are common, especially among people who are dealing with severe pain and other physical symptoms.
When a patient is homebound, it can trigger anxiety. At the same time, psychological concerns can take a toll on the person’s ability to manage their physiological needs. Good mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand.
Connecting Patients with Available Resources
Social workers have great insight into the daily factors that could be affecting the person’s health and treatments. Then, the social worker connects the family with available resources to address these concerns.
One example is if a patient is missing doctor’s appointments because they don’t have transportation. A social worker can assist by coordinating public transportation or in-home caregiver services for transportation.
Additionally, the social worker collaborates with home health services and other medical providers to ensure a personalized, effective care plan for each patient.
Learn More About Home Health Services
What questions do you have about home health services? Contact our experienced team at Bonita Springs Healthcare Services if you need more information. We are here to help with home health care, home services, hospice, and more.
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