How A Hospice Social Worker Helps Your Family

| By Jodi Horton

An integral part of the hospice interdisciplinary team is the social worker. He or she provides practical and emotional support to the patient, the caregiver, and the family members.

“I love working in hospice because it allows me to join my patients and family on their journey. I can help be their guide, or assist them on the way with support and information, and I can make a direct benefit to improving their quality of life. It is the most rewarding job because I’ve never been told ‘thank you’ so much! I feel so rewarded because I see and hear every day how much of a difference we have made in their lives,” says Sharon Sanchez, Casa de la Luz Hospice social worker.

Your hospice social worker wears multiple hats. For families who may not have had significant conversations about end-of-life wishes, the social worker can walk you through an advance directive document. He or she will provide you with information about filling out your advance directives and declaring a healthcare power of attorney; Casa de la Luz Foundation provides free copies of Five Wishes to families.

Social workers can connect your family to community resources. They suggest organizations that can help you fill caregiving needs, offer insight into the process of applying for veterans benefits or long-term care assistance, or give recommendations for a care home or assisted living facility, if that need arises.

Most importantly, the social worker listens. They create a safe space and offer a comforting presence, things all families need at end of life. He or she listens to the patient’s fears and the family caregiver’s struggles. Sometimes it’s just listening, or sometimes, they offer solutions, but the social worker always will meet you where you are and give you the caring support you need.

If you or someone you love would benefit from the support of hospice care, and reside in Tucson or its surrounding areas, call Casa de la Luz Hospice at (520) 544-9890 or submit an online contact form.

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