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Social Workers are Key to Hospice Care

“Palliative care and hospice offer social workers the privilege of supporting individuals and families during some of the most universal—and vulnerable—life experiences: coping with serious illness, facing one’s mortality, the dying process, and bereavement. Hospice and palliative care social workers witness, on a daily basis, the struggle to find meaning in the face of serious illness and death. They have a unique opportunity to help people identify, try to answer, and live with core existential questions.”

– National Association of Social Workers

Social Workers are Key to the Team

The philosophy of hospice is based on using a comprehensive team of professionals to handle every aspect of a family’s needs. This interdisciplinary approach funnels the right services at the right time and place to people needing hospice care and their families.

In honor of World Social Work Day on March 19, let’s talk about the important role that our social workers play on the team at Kansas City Hospice.

Throughout life, most of us may not have any interaction with a social worker. As a matter of fact, many people might have a negative connotation when they hear the term social worker. They may assume social workers are only called in when someone has done something wrong. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Role of Social Work in Hospice Care

“The most important role of the social worker on the team is helping the other professionals understand who the person is,” states Deborah Wilson, LCSW. “What is important to them? How are the family dynamics? What do they consider quality of life? How do they want to live now that serious illness is a part of life?”

Hospice and palliative care social workers fulfill a variety of roles and tasks. Assessments focus on the goals, needs, and strengths of both the patient and family caregivers.

  • Assessment of the person entering hospice and of their family dynamics
  • Teaching about coping skills, hospice and palliative care philosophy, and symptom management strategies
  • Counseling for patients and family members
  • Planning for discharge, coordinating care, and helping clients navigate complex systems
  • Facilitating advance care planning
  • Intervening in a crisis
  • Mediating conflicts within families
  • Participating in interdisciplinary team meetings, care planning, and ethics consultations
  • Advocating on behalf of the patient and family
  • Identifying and linking clients with needed resources

 

The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. And, our vision: each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.


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Our Programs

There's a long list of hospices in Kansas City, but there's only one Kansas City Hospice. Our programs provide comprehensive expert care for all ages at all stages of serious illness.

Hospice

When the focus shifts to comfort instead of treatment, care comes to your home or nursing facility with a plan tailored to your needs, including emotional and spiritual support for the whole family.

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Hospice

Palliative Home Health

When complex needs benefit from a team approach, supportive home care brings the care you need, with 24/7 nurse support for pain, stress and symptoms due to serious illness.

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Palliative Home Health

Advanced Illness Support

Beginning as early as diagnosis and at any stage of serious illness, our nurse practitioners make home visits as needed to help coordinate your care and provide expert pain and symptom management.

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Advanced Illness Support
Hospice House

Hospice House

When symptoms cannot be easily managed at home, two hospice houses provide 24/7 expert care in comfortable home-line settings where family members can be relieved of caregiving duties to focus on loved ones.

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Carousel

Carousel provides palliative and hospice care for perinatal and for babies through young adults with a dedicated team of pediatric nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists.

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Carousel
Solace House

Solace House

Our center for grief and healing supports individuals and families who have been impacted by the death of a loved one, whether anticipated, or sudden and unexpected. We provide opportunities to share, listen, learn and heal with peer group support from age 3 through adult.

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