Aging/Gerontology, Education, Humanity, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Social Workers & Client Enrichment

*Photo: Ardmair-Highlands

As a social worker who works as a case manager in a Jewish community agency-I say client not patient. Medical institutions, hospitals, hospice, etc. use the word patient.

I came across this article by chance when viewing another article on hospice, social work, and death. The article Hospice Social Work and Patient Enrichment is very good. Some advice and suggestions of “how you can help your patients have less of a dismal and boring experience, and more of a fun and meaningful one.” Also suggestions to elicit wishes so that enrichment activities facilitate patients desires:

  • Recognition ceremony
  • Dream Foundation and others like Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • Concerts and  Living Memorial Ceremony
  • Massage
  • Family Reunions
  • Movies and CD’s of music

They are all good ideas. A wonderful repertoire to choose from, but I am sure we can come up with others in addition. All of this can carry over to our work with clients, even those who are in the community and not in hospice or palliative care. Older adults/seniors are often socially isolated, family is out of town or deceased, mobility is an issue, lack of transportation, health issues, chronic diseases, few friends as many have died or are in residence or long term care facilities.

Solutions:

  • Volunteers of all ages as friendly visitors
  • Visiting doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, massage therapists, recreational therapists
  • More community & social programs to reduce isolation
  • More transportation options that are affordable
  • Community meals and cooking opportunities
  • Community gardens-vegetables, herbs and flowers
  • Housing that encourages all of the above, in addition to it being affordable

There are many creative ways to help clients have a rich variety of experiences. Can you think of more? What have you used, done or created in working with either clients or patients?

*http://www.hospicesocialwork.com/hospice-patient-enrichment/

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