What Does a Geriatric Social Worker Do?
When people think about social workers, the image of someone helping children immediately comes to mind. Social workers, however, can fulfill multiple roles that extend far beyond children. Some deal specifically with the elderly and are known as gerontological or geriatric social workers. With more seniors than ever before, the need for medical social workers specializing in geriatric populations will only increase.
Much the same as social workers who work with children, senior social workers are equally as invested in community, family, and individual patient well being. They advocate for their elderly patients and act as liaisons between nurses, doctors, clinics, and any other type of institution.
One of the most important roles of a social worker is to help patients navigate through complicated programs and government benefits. Many people aren’t even aware they may be eligible for aid. There are Medicaid benefits, Medicare benefits, Veteran’s Affair benefits, community based programs, and many more. Social workers can offer expert advice and help straighten out any problems that may occur. Geriatric social workers can also provide counseling when it comes to many end-of-life issues.
If you provide or receive care to/from a loved one, a social worker can be a valuable resource. They can help you or your loved one age in place more comfortably and plan for the long term.